British-US Predators Target Berlin Newspaper

20 October 2005

German daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung is reportedly the subject of acquisition talks with a UK-US consortium. If successful, it would be a landmark deal - the first sale of a German daily to foreign buyers.

The newspaper's current owner, Stuttgart-based media group Holtzbrinck, is insisting the would-be buyers make a concrete offer within the next two weeks, according to the online edition of local news magazine Spiegel. They are expected to bid up to €160 million ($191m; £109m).

The bidding consortium includes David Montgomery, a former British newspaper editor who later tried his hand at senior management without notable success, resigning in turbulent circumstances in 1999.

During his tenure as ceo of Britain's Mirror Group, the dour Ulsterman gained a reputation as a ruthless cost-cutter, dubbed by UK Sunday newspaper The Observer as "the most-hated manager in British journalism".

Montgomery is accompanied in the Berliner Zeitung venture by two equally enthusiastic cost-surgeons, UK venture capital company 3i and US investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff