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Axel Springer AG, the publishing group, has secured a majority interest in the international job portal StepStone, Oslo, by acquisition of approximately 19.3% of the shares and holds currently 52.27% of the company's equity. Furthermore, Axel Springer will extend a public takeover offer to all shareholders for a price of NOK 8.60 (approximately 0.99 Euro) per share.
Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer AG said "as announced, we have used our financial headroom to make investments with a clear focus on the further expansion of our digital business. The acquisition of a majority interest in StepStone is an important step toward the goal of increasing the internationalisation and digitisation of Axel Springer."
"The European online job portal market offers excellent prospects for dynamic growth. We are delighted to continue and support StepStone's successful development, in the interest of all shareholders and in co-operation with the management and employees of StepStone. Together, we will focus on further extending StepStone's leading position."
Since December 2008 Axel Springer held an equity interest of then around 33% in StepStone ASA, after having purchased a 49.9% interest in StepStone Deutschland AG, a subsidiary of StepStone ASA, in 2004.
StepStone is an international provider of e-recruiting solutions engaging in the business areas 'Online' (jobmarkets) and 'Solutions' (talent-management-software). By increasing its investment in StepStone ASA, Axel Springer will be in a position to further extend its position in the online job portal market on a European level.
StepStone ASA generated total revenues of 123.5 million Euro and EBITDA of 15.7 million Euro in fiscal year 2008. In the first half of 2009 revenues and EBITDA were 51.5 million Euro and 4.6 million Euro.