Friede Springer, the fifth wife of deceased publishing magnate and founder Axel Springer, has transferred around $1.5 billion worth of shares to current company Chief Executive Officer Mathias Doepfner effectively making him the heir to the Springer media empire. Doepfner has been in the position since 2002 after Ms Sprimger installed him after a protracted legal battle with Axel Springer’s grandchildren and already
“I am very happy and grateful to have found my successor in Mathias,” Ms Springer said in a statement. “Together with our new partner KKR, we will ensure that Axel Springer remains active and relevant as an independent media business and home of journalism.”
Apart from owning the hugely popular newspaper Bild and many other print publications, Axel Springer also owns or has stakes in many European property portals such as ImmoWeb, Morizon and Seloger. While the recent announcement won’t mean any material changes for any Axel Springer companies, it does mean that Doepfner now controls 44% of company voting rights with US venture firm KKR controlling the vast majority of the rest of those rights after its investment last year of $3.2 billion.