Swiss ICMIF member la Mobilière has taken a 25 percent shareholding in Swiss media company Ringier and the two Swiss companies have agreed to cooperate in the long-term. La Mobilière says this will enable the organisation to advance its digital transformation.
La Mobilière introduced an extensive transformation of the organisation in 2015 based on its digitalisation strategy with the aim of developing the company further and sustainably securing its long-term business success. As well as a comprehensive modernisation of its own IT landscape, la Mobilière is investing in the development of its ecosystems on all issues concerning the home and SMEs as well as in digital marketplaces including those offered through Scout24 Schweiz AG, a joint venture between la Mobilière and Ringier.
Ringier AG is a digitalised and diversified Swiss media company active in Europe, Africa and Asia. Its portfolio comprises over 100 subsidiaries in the areas of print media, digital media, radio, ticketing, entertainment and e-commerce as well as digital marketplaces in the vehicle, real estate and job sectors. Ringier also supports digital start-ups as a venture capital investor.
The two Swiss companies have now decided to strengthen and grow their successful partnership. La Mobilière is investing in Ringier AG and will receive a stake of 25 percent of the shares. Most of the invested capital will flow into the further development of Ringier AG. The share purchase is to be completed in the first half of 2020. Both Ringier and la Mobilière will remain fully independent companies. The parties have agreed not to disclose the amount of the investment and the valuation of the shares.
La Mobilière is investing in Ringier AG with a long-term investment horizon. “We firmly believe that Ringier is an optimum partner for la Mobilière that will enable us to advance our digital transformation. Like Ringier, la Mobilière can look back on a successful corporate history of around 200 years and has the entrepreneurial courage to pursue ambitious growth targets,” says Urs Berger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of la Mobilière.
Markus Hongler, CEO of la Mobilière: “Ringier has a number of abilities and strengths that attract us, including its platform economy and target group-specific digital market cultivation with different tools. We are also gaining new openings in attractive international markets, particularly in the EU. This will provide us with the opportunity to rethink the distribution of products and services outside our home market of Switzerland.”
Michael Ringier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ringier AG: “We are delighted to welcome la Mobilière on board as a shareholder. La Mobilière is a reliable and stable shareholder. We value each other and already collaborate successfully as joint venture partners for Scout24 Schweiz AG. The long-term investment by la Mobilière serves for us as further proof that we have successfully developed our group further in recent years.”
Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier AG: “We are impressed by la Mobilière’s long-term commitment, which is ideally suited to Ringier. La Mobilière supports Ringier’s strategy of consistently investing internationally in digital marketplaces, independent journalism and cutting-edge technologies. Ringier has developed into one of Europe’s leading digital media companies in recent years and we intend to continue along this path. The journalistic brands will remain independent.”
As a new minority shareholder, la Mobilière will be represented on the Ringier Board of Directors with two seats that will be occupied by Urs Berger and Markus Hongler. Together with CEO Marc Walder, the Ringier family holds the clear majority of the Ringier Group with a shareholding of 75 percent.
There will be no change to the composition of the operational management bodies. Both the Group Executive Board of Ringier AG and the Executive Board of la Mobilière will remain unchanged.
Photo shows: Markus Hongler (left) and Marc Walder (right)