E5C970DF-8D3C-4D9C-94D2-D346C03B48D3 09. September 2015

Press release

Ströer intends to take over OMS, the national digital marketing agency of Germany’s regional daily newspaper publishers

A strategic partnership for national online advertising in the premium segment / The transaction will give the 33 shareholders in OMS a ten percent stake in the Ströer Digital Group, the national online marketing agency of Ströer SE / With the purchase of OMS, ranked 7th in the market by AGOF, Ströer will significantly increase its digital reach in the premium segment

The Cologne-based media company Ströer intends to take over OMS Vermarktungs GmbH, the national digital marketing agency of Germany’s regional daily newspaper publishers, which is ranked 7th in the AGOF Digital Facts national marketing survey and offers access to approximately more than 28 million unique users. OMS is the leading premium marketing agency in the high-quality editorial environment of the regional daily newspapers and offers advertisers to address attractive target groups with display, mobile, moving images and cross-media campaigns across all screens.

OMS will be integrated in the Ströer Digital Group by means of a capital increase against a contribution in kind. The Ströer Digital Group is the sister company of the Ströer Content Group, and is responsible for Ströer SE’s German national online marketing activities in the digital segment. In return, the OMS’ shareholders will receive a ten percent stake in the Ströer Digital Group. OMS is currently owned by 33 German daily newspaper publishers including Rheinische Post Mediengruppe, Ippen-Gruppe, Madsack Mediengruppe, SWMH, Verlagsgruppe Pressedruck and NWZ Mediengruppe.

Ströer expects OMS to contribute annual sales of approximately EUR 30 million. Following the acquisition of OMS, t-online.de and InteractiveMedia, digital sales will account for almost 40 percent of the group’s revenue, which is expected to total more than EUR 1 billion in 2016. The operational EBITDA-margin should remain unchanged at 23 to 24 percent.

That is a significant step towards the Cologne-based media company’s medium term goal of increasing the proportion of turnover generated by its digital sales to 50 percent. Both Ströer and OMS expect the merger to result in strategic advantages in the increasingly consolidated online advertising market, along with significant synergies at various levels and improved access to customers and agencies. Overall, the company expects double-digit growth to continue in its digital business.

The acquisition will also strengthen Ströer’s position as a major digital marketing agency, and allow it to set new standards in the German market with regard to inventory quality, depth of data, reach and technical infrastructure. The company will also reinforce its marketing position in an otherwise fragmented publisher and marketing agency environment, and it expects to profit sustainably from the coming market consolidation.

“In our view the decision taken by the publishers of the regional newspapers – the traditional backbone of the German media environment – to take on Ströer as a strategic media partner is both a seal of approval and recognition of our successful work in recent years. We consider the transaction to be of major strategic significance. It is another very important step towards ensuring the future competitiveness of our German online marketing agency in a global market,” noted Udo Müller, CEO of Ströer SE.

Stephan Marzen, chairman of the OMS advisory board: “Our future cooperation with Ströer, which is a very strong partner, is an indispensable element of our future marketing strategy and is essential to OMS’ future success and the digital marketing activities of the German regional daily newspapers in a highly dynamic market. The merger sends a strong signal regarding the urgently required consolidation of the German online advertising market.”

The OMS product, a consolidated national service on the websites of the German regional daily newspapers, will continue to be available and give advertising customers access to a comprehensive national digital service with strong regional brands and unique regional options. Innovative advertising formats, and proven higher levels of effectiveness as a result of the strong loyalty of users to regional media markets, will continue to provide a strong basis for successful future campaigns. OMS’ strong digital portfolio guarantees with its journalistic content a high level of credibility, high user loyalty, and, above all, an excellent conversion rate.

“This step again clearly reinforces our focus on premium quality in the online marketing segment and rounds out the upper end of the Ströer Digital Group’s marketing portfolio. The online advertising market is currently undergoing significant change: Data quality is becoming increasingly important for optimum marketing, and we expect a significant split between data and inventory in future. The business models of global providers mean that they have access a huge range and depth of data. Further consolidation of the fragmented German publisher and marketing agency environment is, therefore, urgently required in order to remain competitive in the medium and long term. That is why we are very pleased about the decision of the OMS shareholders,” explained Christian Schmalzl, COO of Ströer SE.

Matthias Wahl, OMS management spokesman: “OMS is a successful model that allows regional daily newspapers with high-quality editorial content to be marketed at the national level. This strategic partnership will sustainably secure the effectiveness and future of OMS.”

The transaction is subject to approval from the federal cartel office and other generally applicable conditions.