Simicska’s partner: We paid €1 mln for right to buy TV2
Simicska Lajos and his business associates paid €1 mln last year and received a pre-purchase option for commercial channel TV2, online daily origo.hu reported today. Their company, Megapolis Media Zrt., reportedly exercised that option Tuesday and purchased TV2 before film commissioner Andrew Vajna announced yesterday he had purchased the station.
Károly Fonyó, owner of Megapolis Media, would not confirm the details of the pre-purchase agreement, but he did say his legal advisors were investigating how the former owners of TV2 could attempt to sell the station two days after he had purchased it.
While Vajna was presumed to be ready to run a pro-government TV station, media oligarch Simicska 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. Under the ownership of Simicska and Fonyó, commercial channel TV2, the second-largest TV channel in Hungary after RTL Klub, is likely to carry news that is more critical of the government.
Fonyó said that former owners Yvonne Dederick and László Simon also signed the contracts in which Megapolis Media bought TV2 Media Group Holdings Kft., which owns TV2 and three other stations. He said it was a surprise to him that they would then try to sign a contract with Vajna two days after that sale.
Fonyó told origo.hu that he has a candidate for the leadership of the channel, though he did not name the person. He did say it would not be former RTL Klub CEO Dirk Gerkens, who Vajna named as his CEO at a press conference yesterday to announce the purchase of the channel.
Gerkens was considered a surprise choice because he oversaw news coverage that was critical of the government as CEO of RTL Klub before leaving that station in March.
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