Pro7Sat1 vetoes Fonyóʼs purchase of TV2

Analysis

German media giant Pro7Sat1, the former owner of Hungary’s second largest commercial channel TV2 prior to it being sold to Zsolt Simon and Yvonne Dederick, yesterday filed an objection with Hungary’s company court against Károly Fonyó’s takeover of the TV2 group, Hungarian online dailies origo.hu and index.hu reported yesterday.

A few hours after Hungarian government commissioner for the film industry Andrew G. Vajna announced his purchase of the channel from Simon and Dederick on October 15, Fonyó, who is a business associate of Lajos Simicska, announced he had already purchased the channel on October 13. Fonyó reportedly used a pre-purchase option that his firm Megapolis Media had acquired in 2013 when Simon and Dederick signed a declaration that they would transfer some rights to Fonyó’s company.

Pro7Sat1 claims that for such a procedure to take place, the German firm’s approval would have been required as it had assigned a veto right when it extended a loan to buyers Simon and Dederick. The company added that it is not planning to waive its veto right over the sale of TV2, neither now nor in the future, Hungarian daily Népszabadság said.

Scandal surrounding the selling of TV2 began in mid-October, when Vajna announced that he would be buying the channel. Critics claim that Vajna will use the channel to air ruling Fidesz-friendly material, charges which he denied in an interview with index.hu. Commenting on the fight over ownership, he said he does not know who is the actual owner, and that “anything could happen”.

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