Večer and Dnevnik announce merger
In a written announcement, the companies Dnevnik and Večer Group said the move had been prompted by the situation in the market as both the number of buyers of print editions and the scope of advertising were in decline.
They say this is why it is increasingly difficult to bring out the two editions independently, "which jeopardises not only the independence of their journalism but also their survival".
The companies believe that the survival of the two daily newspapers is only possible through the plan to merge the two editions and their joint further development.
The Culture Ministry has confirmed for the STA having received a joint application by the two companies to issue a preliminary consent for the acquisition of a 50% stake DV Mediji, a company that is to issue a general news printed daily newspaper but is yet to be registered in the companies register.
The companies expect positive response from the ministry and the anti-trust watchdog believing that the merger does not represent concentration in the daily news media market.
The market features seven major print media outlets, plus several "extremely large and popular news portals that offer readers broad access to daily news content and are thus direct competition to Dnevnik and Večer," the release reads.
Dnevnik is part of the group DZS, which also comprises publisher DZS, spa operator Terme Čatež and Marina Portorož.
The latest available data from AJPES, the public agency in charge of corporate legal records, shows that Dnevnik posted a net profit of EUR 1.49m on EUR 17.91m in sales revenue 2016. The company reported a net profit of EUR 826,000 for 2017.
Established in 1951, Dnevnik has been a joint-stock company since 1991. Apart from its namesake daily newspaper, which comes out six days a week, the publisher also issues the weekly Nedeljski Dnevnik and various supplements.
Večer was first launched in 1945 under the name Vestnik, and was renamed Večer in 1952. Between 2008 and 2014 Večer was in majority ownership of newspaper publisher Delo while both were part of the beverage group Pivovarna Laško. After several failed attempts, Delo sold Večer to the company Dober Večer.
Večer Group generated EUR 1.23m in sales revenue and EUR 169,182 in net profit last year. Like Dnevnik, Večer comes out six days a week, but also has a Sunday edition called Večer v Nedeljo.
Dnevnik had 150 employees at the end of 2016, while Večer had 123.