Simicskaʼs partner claims he bought TV2 before Vajna could

History

Todayʼs announcement that TV2 was sold to Film Commissioner Andrew G. Vajna is inaccurate because the company that owns the commercial TV channel was obtained through a purchase option two days earlier by Megapolis Media Zrt., which is owned by Károly Fonyó in partnership with Lajos Simicska, Fonyó told news outlets this evening.

While Vajna is presumed to be ready to run a pro-government TV station, media oligarch Simicska (pictured) has been highly critical of the ruling Fidesz party since he had a very public falling out with his one-time ally, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in February.

“Today a purchase was signed that could not have happened, as the television station is owned by somebody else,” Fonyó was quoted as saying.

According to Fonyó, his Megapolis Media Zrt. bought TV2 Media Group Holdings Kft., which had been owned by Yvonne Dederick and László Simon, on Tuesday. TV2 Media Group Holdings Kft. owns four channels, including TV2, the second-largest commercial channel in Hungary, according to Fonyó, so Dederick and Simon had no right to make the sale that was reported today.

The purchase of TV2 Media Holdings Group was apparently made possible when Megapolis Media exercised a purchase option for the channel, according to origo.hu. Fonyó was quoted as saying the deal was made through “a complicated contract, but legally it was a purchase”.

While details were not available, it appears that Megapolis Media held some of the debt of TV2 Media Holdings Group – and that debt agreement included an option to purchase.

Fonyó reportedly said that Dederick and Simon had been acting as CEOs of the holding company but they were removed from their positions today.

Vajna yesterday made the surprise announcement that Dirk Gerkens, who oversaw news coverage that was critical of the government as CEO of Hungarian TV channel RTL Klub, would take charge of TV2, but now it is not clear if Vajna is in a position to make that hire.

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