Germanpublishing empire Axel Springer has acquired a majority stake in theProSiebenSat.1 Media to create the only listed media group in Germany withactivities both in the print media and television sectors.

Inan Euros 2.5bn acquisition subject to anti-trust and media authority approval,Springer intends to increase its existing shareholding in ProSiebenSat.1 fromthe present 12% to 100% of the ordinary voting shares and to 25% of thenon-voting preference shares.

Commentingon the agreement made with the investor group German Media Partners, MathiasDoepfner, Axel Springer's Chairman and CEO, said: "ProSiebenSat.1 is anexcellent investment for three main reasons: first, we invest in a businesswhich has been highly profitable even in difficult macro-economic conditions.Second, we establish a structure to successfully develop the digital businessof the future. Third, we create an attractively positioned European mediashare. The transaction stands for profitability, continuity and quality."

Springerannounced that US media tycoon Haim Saban, who had acquired ProSiebenSat.1Media through German Media Partners in 2003, will serve as the chairman of theTV advisory board and also become a shareholder of the merged media group.