Ringier takeover of Onet.pl approved


RINGIER AXEL Springer Media, the joint venture of European newspaper publisher Axel Springer and Zurich-based Ringier, has got approval from the the Polish antitrust regulator to buy Poland’s largest web portal.

The takeover of Onet.plfrom television broadcaster TVN would not curb competition on the Polish market, the regulator said. Ringier Axel, which publishes Poland’s biggest newspaper and local editions of Forbes and Newsweek magazines, agreed to pay 968.8 million zloty (€235.5 million) for 76 per cent of Onet.

“The decision was much quicker than expected, which means TVN will get its money sooner,” Leszek Iwaszko, a Warsaw-based analyst at Société Générale, said.

Warsaw-based TVN, which last year posted its first annual loss since its stock started trading in Warsaw in 2004, is selling businesses as the economic slowdown hurts the ad market.

Last week the regulator approved the merger between pay-TV units of TVN and France’s Canal Plus. TVN expects to complete the Onet sale in the fourth quarter and will use the proceeds to buy back some of its bonds, it said yesterday. – (Bloomberg)