Moscow's East Media Group buys Politika

Source: Beta Wednesday, 18.07.2012. 12:21

Moscow-based East Media Group has bought a 50 percent stake in Politika Novine i Magazini (Newspapers and Magazines) from Vienna's Ost Holding, it was announced on the website of the Business Registers Agency (BRA).

According to the information at the BRA's website, the change of ownership in Politika was registered July 16th.

Parts of Politika NM are the daily newspaper Politika, Sportski Zurnal and a printing firm.

Germany's WAZ, owner of Ost Holding, announced in mid-2010 its intention to withdraw from Serbia because it was unsatisfied with business conditions.

The Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS) issued a response to the news, requesting from the incumbent Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and Minister of Culture and Media Predrag Markovic and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic to inform the public about all details of 'this scandalous transaction.'

- Behind the back of the public, WAZ's 50 percent stake in Politika has been sold to so far completely unknown company whose director is certain Uros Stefanovic - UNS stressed.

UNS reminds that Politika is an important Serbian institution whose destiny lies in the hands of the state, which has taken care of it by keeping a 50 percent stake in the company, a "golden share" in editing and publishing activities and the pre-emption right in case of the sale of WAZ's stake.

As UNS learns, rich businessman Miroslav Bogicevic, one of the financiers of the Democratic Party, is connected with East Media Group, and it has been indicated for months that he would finance the acquisition of Politika through Kurir or in some other way.

UNS warns both old and new authorities in Serbia that all circumstances of the sale of Politika must be made public because it is an important public resource that belongs to citizens and is part of the tradition and culture of the Serbian people.

UNS reminds new authorities that they are bound by a coalition agreement to "completely ensure publicity and transparency of ownership structure in media companies."

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