published: 20.12.2013, 17:36 | updated: 20.12.2013 17:37:50
Prague - Entrepreneurs Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac have bought company Ringier Alex Springer CZ, the biggest publisher of dailies on the Czech market, the two entrepreneurs announced in a joint press release today, confirming previous media information.
The publishing house has been appraised at EUR170m (Kc4.7bn). The original owner Ringier Axel Springer Media AG at the same time sold them its stake in Prvni novinova spolecnost (PNS) whose main activity is press distribution.
"We are aware of the problems with which traditional printed media now grapple and are looking forward to cooperation with the current managerial team led by Libuse Smuclerova with which we want to find the right strategic solutions," said Kretinsky who ranks among the most influential persons of Czech business and together with Tkac is active in energy and industrial holding Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH).
The original owner, a joint venture of Ringier AG and Axel Springer SE, said today that it wanted to further focus on the strengthening of its business in Poland, Serbia and Slovakia where it already holds a strong position in the area of digital press.
Ringier Axel Springer Media AG CEO Mark Dekan thanked to the management and employees in the Czech Republic for the excellent and successful cooperation in the last few years.
He said he was convinced that with the arrival of the new owner, the employees would start the new year with very good outlooks for the future.
The announced transaction, which is still subject to antitrust office UOHS approval, is the continuation of the trend of domestic publishers being taken over by Czech owners.
The last time this has happened was in the case of company MAFRA which publishes dailies Mlada fronta Dnes and Lidove noviny and that became a part of the media division of entrepreneur Andrej Babis.
Babis earlier also held talks about Ringier Axel Springer´s takeover but the transaction was not made.
Kretinsky ranked among Czech billionaires reportedly for the first time when in 2009 together with group J&T of Patrik Tkac and Ivan Jakabovic and group PPF he set up EPH.
Now, according to available information, he prepares together with J&T to buy PPF´s stake for Kc30bn. PPF currently holds 44.44 percent in EPH, J&T has 37.04 percent and Kretinsky 18.52 percent.
Ringier Axel Springer CZ is one of the leading media companies in the Czech Republic. It publishes dailies Blesk, Aha! and Sport and magazines Reflex, ABC, GEO, Blesk pro zeny (Blesk for Women), Blesk Hobby and Svet motoru (World of Engines).
The company´s pre-tax profit increased by Kc55m to Kc498.2m last year thanks, among other things, to the payment of a Kc131m dividend from subsidiary Ringier Axel Springer Print CZ which has two printing houses.
Its total revenues dropped by 8.7 percent to Kc2.096bn. The main reason was a fall in revenues from advertising and lower press circulation due to the VAT increase.
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