The battle to buy Germany's Berliner Zeitung has heated up in the last minute after the Cologne-based publishing house DuMont showed renewed interest. "We have made a considerably modified offer," said manager Heinz Kiegeland, adding that the company would also be willing to negotiate. The Financial Times Deutschland reported that DuMont offered Holtzbrinck 175 million euros for the publishing group, a figure Kiegeland was unwilling to confirm. Takeover rumors surrounding the publishing house have been swirling all week. On Friday, the British investment group 3i withdrew its offer. American investor group Veronis Suhler Stevenson and the investment group Mecom remain. Journalists for the paper have been vehemently protesting a possible purchase by Mecom, fearing lost jobs and a drop in quality. German publisher Holtzbrinck is selling Berliner Zeitung to end an extended dispute with the federal cartel office, which in 2004 blocked the acquisition of Berliner Zeitung from Bertelsmann-owned Gruner + Jahr.