Daniel Kretinsky


Daniel Kretinsky’s CMI To Buy Lagardere’s Radio Stations

Daniel Kretinsky

Prague, April 17 (CTK) – Czech Media Invest (CMI), which is co-owned by billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, is buying Lagardere company’s radio stations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania for EUR73m (about Kc1.8bn), CMI board member Daniel Castvaj told CTK today.


The acquisition includes Czech radio stations Frekvence 1 and Evropa 2, Castvaj said.


CMI and Lagardere Group agreed on the sale’s conditions.


Relevant antitrust offices need to approve the transaction for it to be completed, Castvaj said.


Lagardere said the sale was part of a broader strategy to dispose of non-core businesses to improve cash flow, according to Reuters agency.


CMI is gaining a new type of media for its portfolio, Castvaj said.


CMI, via its subsidiaries Czech News Center (CNC) and CN Invest, has been active mainly on the press market, publishing dailies including Blesk, Sport a Aha!, and tens of magazines. It is a leader in book publishing and newspaper distribution.


Companies operating the radio stations that are being sold generated consolidated sales of some EUR56m (Kc1.4bn) last year, Castvaj said.


Czech media are being concentrated in the hands of Czech business groups, according to media expert Jan Potucek.


The CNC portfolio still lacks television, Potucek said expecting the company to try to get some station.


According to Mediar.cz server editor-in-chief Ondrej Aust, CNC already entered the television business when it acquired a minority stake of 20 percent in Magical Roof, which operates the Joj Family television station on the Czech market.


The expansion of Kretinsky’s companies carried out with loans is connected with the current era of cheap money, and the radio purchase is not really big considering Kretinsky’s worth, analysts approached by CTK agreed.


Lagardere Active CR media group, part of Lagardere Group, operates five Czech radio stations, one Slovak station, and Regie Radio Music media representation. The group’s head is its co-founder Michel Fleischmann.


Lagardere Active CR was established in 1991 launching Evropa 2, which is the Czech Republic’s number two radio station by listeners. Frekvence 1 ranks fourth.