THE CZECH branch of Ringier Axel Springer publishing house looks set to change hands. Patrik Tkáč from J&T financial group and Czech businessman Daniel Křetínský, who are also both shareholders of Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), plan to buy it, Motejlek.com reported on December 18.

The businessmen are said to have offered CZK5 billion (about €180.28 million) for the biggest media printing house in the Czech Republic, which is represented by Ringier Axel Springer CZ and Ringier Axel Springer Print CZ.

“We do not comment on media speculations,” Petr Málek, director of the marketing department of J&T Bank told Omédiách.com. Spokespeople for Ringier Axel Springer and Křetínský also declined to comment on the report.

Ringier Axel Springer CZ publishes the most popular Czech tabloid, the Blesk daily. It also publishes another major tabloid, Aha!, the daily Sport, as well as Abc and Reflex magazines. Its revenues stood at CZK2 billion last year, with net profit reaching CZK498 million, Motejlek.com wrote.

The Swiss-German concern Ringier Axel Springer also owns a branch in Slovakia, which publishes the Nový Čas daily, the Nový Čas pre Ženy and Život weeklies, among other titles.

EPH bought a 49 percent share of Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) gas utility earlier this year.