PPF Files Suit After Purchase Of TV Nova Blocked By RegulatorsČTK
Prague, Aug 7 (CTK) – PPF investment group filed a suit with Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court over July’s verdict of the local regulator preventing it from purchasing local television network Nova, E15 server reported today.
“We can confirm we have filed an appeal against the decision of the Bulgarian anti-monopoly office regarding the Nova Broadcasting Group case,” PPF spokeswoman Zuzana Migdalova told the server.
PPF filed the suit last week.
The office blocked the sale, saying the amount of media assets owned by Nova Broadcasting Group and PPF would build competitive advantage on the relevant market, which might motivate the groups to up prices, change conditions of the existing contracts or limit market access. PPF does not own any media in Bulgaria.
E15 wrote that the office’s arguments had been challenged by Nikolay Stoyanov, an editor with Bulgarian business weekly Kapital.
According to Stoyanov, the office wanted to say that the assets put up for sale are quite big and important, which might cause problems on the local market.
In February, PPF agreed to buy 95 percent of Nova Broadcasting from Modern Times Group (MTG) and the remaining 5 percent from Eastern European Media Holdings. MTG then said the deal is worth some EUR185m (Kc4.8bn).
According to earlier information, Nova Broadcasting Group is Bulgaria’s largest commercial media group, with a 33 percent rate of television viewership. It is formed by seven TV stations and 19 companies providing online media services. It was set up in 1994.
PPF group of the richest Czech Petr Kellner invests in a number of sectors, including banking and financial services, telecommunications, insurance, real estate, agriculture, and biotechnologies. It operates in Europe, Russia, Asia and North America. It has a majority stake in Czech mobile operator O2, which is the country’s largest Internet TV operator.
PPF owned commercial TV Nova which was sold to CME in 2005.