U.S. businessman McNutt thought to be buyer of Index

History

American businessman John Michael McNutt, who said he bought the radio station Class FM in May, could be the buyer of the country’s leading online news portal index.hu, competitor origo.hu reported yesterday, though none of the parties have so far confirmed this information, according to reports.

Prior to being sold, Class FM was entirely owned by Adventio Zrt., which is a holding of Lajos Simicska and Zsolt Nyerges. Simicska’s Hungarian media empire has been shrinking since he had a public falling out with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last year. 

Reports in mid-June alleged that Simicska had signed a contract with index.hu owner Zoltán Spéder, also the owner of FHB bank, which has come under scrutiny recently, to give Simicska an option to buy the paper in the future.

Spéder appears to be the latest oligarch to lose favor with the government. McNutt and Simicska are “on good terms” with one another, according to origo.hu, so it is possible that the purchase is part of a longer-term plan by Simicska to eventually gain control of index.hu.

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