20 Minutes & Le Matin Bleu merge

Swiss media company Tamedia, mostly active in the German speaking part of Switzerland, will acquire Geneva (French language) publisher Edipresse. The publishers are no. 2 and 3 in Switzerland after Ringier.

The free newspapers in the Western, French speaking part 20 Minutes (Tamedia) and Le Matin Bleu (Edipresse) will merge.

First Tamedia will buy 49.9%, in 2011 0.2% will be bought so Tamedia has the majority in Edipresse – for a total of 226 Chf (€153m). The remaining part will be sold in 2013. (SwissInfo)

Le Matin Bleu was launched as a free spin-off from the Edipresse flagship: tabloid Le Matin. The paper launched in October 2005 with two editions in Geneva and Lausanne. Current circulation is 230,000.

The French edition 20 Minutes started five months later, in March 2006, also with editions in Geneva and Lausanne; in 2007 a regional edition for Romandie (Neuenburg/Jura) was launched. Circulation is around 220,000. In the German part 20 Minuten distributes more than 500,000 copies in five different editions.

How and when the merger will take place is not yet known although at least 20 people will lose their job. It will be soon, however.

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