Montgomery snaps up second German paper

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The former Daily Mirror chief executive David Montgomery has made his second purchase of a German newspaper in the past three months through Mecom Group, his AIM-listed investment company.

Mecom has paid an undisclosed sum to buy the German daily tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost from its owners Hans Barlach and Josef Depenbrock, with the deal expected to close by the end of February. The paper has a circulation of about 110,000.

Mecom has bought the paper alongside the US private equity house Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a media buyout specialist and investor in Mecom, through its German holding company, Deutsche Zeitungsholding.

Mr Montgomery said: "This is the longest established tabloid title in Germany. It has a more upscale tone and more serious content that typical tabloids in Germany and in the UK.

"We are actively seeking to build a consolidated group of German newspapers and will continue to look at other titles when they become available."

In October last year Mecom and VSS bought Berliner Verlag, a group of Berlin-based newspapers including the broadsheet Berliner Zeitung, the east German tabloid Berliner Kurier and the weekly free advertising newspaper Abendblatt.

Mr Montgomery is thought to be among several potential bidders for the Daily Mirror, should it come up for sale, although a source close to Mecom said such a bid would require Mecom to veer from its stated pan-European strategy.

Its owners Trinity Mirror have been thought to be considering putting the paper up for sale since the departure of chairman Sir Victor Blank this week.