444.hu: Documents suggest TV2 owner is Fonyó, not Vajna



Yvonne Dederick and Zsolt Simon, who last week said they sold TV2 to film commissioner Andrew G. Vajna, had signed contracts on December 23, 2013, transferring the right to take over the holding company that owned the channel to a firm owned by Károly Fonyó, Hungarian online daily 444.hu reported today based on documents they obtained.

According to the portal, Megapolis Media Zrt., owned by Károly Fonyó who is a partner of media oligarch Lajos Simicska, was present at TV2 from the very beginning, when German Pro7Sat1 sold the group in 2013.

TV2 is Hungaryʼs second-largest commercial TV station, and Fonyó maintains that he and Simicska are its owners. If so, they are expected to provide news coverage that is critical of the government, while Vajna might be expected to run a more government-friendly channel.

The documents, leaked to 444.hu by an unnamed source, purportedly reveal that Megalapolis Media Zrt. acquired certain rights for two companies, CCA and D6D, from Dederick and Simon in December, 2013. Those two companies reportedly held ownership of TV2 Media Group.

Though not many details are known about the legal structure, legal advisors contacted by nol.hu say that Fonyó could have acquired pre-purchase rights for the two companies. That would mean Dederick and Simon were not legally allowed to restructure the companies without the consent of Fonyó, and they were not legally allowed to sell TV2ʼs new holding company, TV2 Media Group, to Vajna, according to nol.hu.

According to 444.hu, Simon and Dederick started restructuring their holding in July 2014 – before Simicska and PM Viktor Orbán had a public falling out. The portal says Dedrick and Simon underwent complex series of legal moves intended to eliminate the rights of Megapolis.

Information currently available suggests that Fonyó on October 13, exercised a pre-purchase option and became actual owner of CCA and D6D, which Fonyó says were still, legally, the ultimate owners of TV2 and its sister channels.

The case is complex, and it is still unclear who owns the second biggest commercial channel in Hungary. According to 444.hu, a long court proceeding is expected as both parties attempt to untangle the ownership structure of the television station.


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