TV Markíza may be sold, Slovak and Czech oligarchs showing interest

It is currently part of the CME group.

The private TV Markíza resides in Záhorksá Bystrica borough of Bratislava.The private TV Markíza resides in Záhorksá Bystrica borough of Bratislava.(Source: Sme - Gabriel Kuchta)

The current owner of the private TV Markíza, which is currently part of the CME group, is reportedly in unofficial talks with a group of Czech and Slovak oligarchs.

Partners from the management of the J&T group, the Penta group, the owner of the PPF group Petr Kellner and Daniel Křetínský of EPH holding could join forces to buy it, as well as the Czech TV Nova and some 30 other TV channels in four countries, the Sme daily wrote on November 8.

These talks are informal as of now, since the media group Time Warner, which owns CME, has not officially announced its plan to sell its stations in central Europe yet.

The rumours of a sale were already leaked some time ago, but until now the price was a block preventing the deal from being sealed. The €2 billion the US tycoons are asking for the channel are too much for any single Czech or Slovak oligarch. And the Americans refuse to sell TV Markíza alone. Thus, they could succeed in the purchase if they join forces, the Czech weekly Euro suggested, as cited by Sme.

The purchase in this form would make sense for all Slovak oligarchs, as most of them already own TV or print media, and they cannot buy another media outlet, according to law – unless they give up on a previous TV or media outlet.

“We don’t want to comment on speculation,” Daniel Častvaj of the EPH concern told Sme, while CME has not officially announced its intention of selling their television networks in central Europe – but it is expected to do so in the upcoming days, according to Sme.

Disclaimer: The Penta financial group has a 45-percent share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

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