Switzerland-based media company Ringier said on Wednesday that it agreed to acquire majority stakes in two Bulgarian companies - digital media group Sportal and content management systems developer Digital Ventures.
The takeover of the shares is planned for the second quarter of 2021, Ringier said in a statement .
According to the statement, both parties to the deal have agreed to keep the sales price and the valuation of the acquired companies confidential. The completion of the transaction requires the approval of the relevant local competition authorities.
Private individual Angel Shishkov owns 99% in Sportal.bg - the sports brand operated by Sportal Media Group, and 95% in Digital Ventures, Bulgarian commercial register data showed.
Through the planned transaction, Ringier, which is a former publishing house, aims to transform itself into an international, technology-driven and diversified media company. The acquisition is also a milestone in terms of accelerating Ringier's sports media strategy, the buyer said.
"The acquisition of the majority in the Sportal Media Group is another milestone for Ringier as a digital media company with a strong foothold in journalism and also an important sign with regard to the future of our Global Media Division," Ladina Heimgartner, head of global media at Ringier, said.
Sportal Media Group operates digital facilities in areas such as sports, news and politics, business, lifestyle, e-commerce. The most important brands of the group are Sportal.bg, a sports portal founded in 2006, as well as news platform Novini.bg.
Digital Ventures is active in the development of content management systems for the sports sector. The company owns Sportal365, a publishing platform for sports content that specialises in news, image galleries and videos, live statistics and live results from the sports sector.
In 2018, Ringier Sportal, a joint venture of Ringier Romania and Sportal Media Group, acquired Romanian sports brand Gazeta Sporturilor. The deal covered the acquisition of digital platform GSP.ro and the print edition of Gazeta.