One of the biggest regional newspaper networks has a new owner. Pavlína Matovičová, spouse of MP Igor Matovič, has sold the publishing house regionPRESS to the company Z+M Press owned by two Czech businessmen, the Sme daily reported.
RegionPRESS publishes 36 regional weeklies, for example Bratislavsko, Trnavsko, Žilinsko and Košicko. These are free regional newspapers that have been on the market since 1997 and are distributed to 1.5 million households. They combine classifieds with regional news.
The value of the transaction has not been revealed.
With this purchase, Z+M Press will expand its business activities in Slovakia.
“We are pleased that we have successfully completed the whole acquisition process for regionPRESS and we can now start to fully focus on growth in the Slovak market,” said David Ševčík director of Z+M Press, as cited by the SITA newswire from a press report. “This acquisition offers great potential and it will be a challenge for us to expand our activities through an established company with tradition and experience.”
RegionPRESS reports turnover in millions of euros. It reported sales of €5.3 million last year and reported an aggregate profit of €8.7 million between 2010 and 2016.
Igor Matovič confirmed the sale of the company and promised to return to the deal at a press conference next week.
The sale of the publishing house does not affect the ongoing investigation of Matovič and his old trade license.
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Matovič’s movement, OĽaNO, used the newspapers for political agitation when its representatives used to have their columns there.
The new owner will likely halt this content. Ševčík said that after the change of ownership regionPRESS will be an apolitical company.
“One of the basic principles of our functioning is that we refuse to actively engage with politicians and political parties,” said Ševčík.
9. Nov 2017 at 22:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff