Media rivals clash over TV2 ownership
Budapest (MTI) – A legal dispute has emerged over ownership of Hungary’s second biggest commercial television broadcaster.
On 15 October, Magyar Broadcasting Co signed a contract with TV2 Media Group Holdings and CEE Broadcasting Holding to purchase a 100 percent stake in their businesses.
TV2’s portfolio includes the television channels TV2, Super TV2, FEM3 and PRO4. The company had revenue of 17.6 billion forints (EUR 57m) last year.
Magyar Broadcasting is owned by Andrew Vajna, a Hollywood producer and businessman who is also the government’s film industry commissioner.
It then emerged that Megapolis Media, owned by Karoly Fonyo, an associate of businessman Lajos Simicska’s, had paid 1 million euros for pre-emption rights in autumn 2014. Citing business confidentiality, Fonyo neither confirmed nor denied the related press reports.
Simicska controls various media interests including the daily Magyar Nemzet and HirTV.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the competition office (GVH), told public television M1 the office has not yet received a request from the group of companies owned by Fonyo to clear the acquisition of TV2.
TV2 was acquired in a management buyout from Germany’s ProSiebenSat1 by Zsolt Simon and Yvonne Dederick late in 2013. They said on Tuesday neither the pre-emption rights cited by Megapolis Media nor the circumstances in which they were exercised were legally valid, and they vowed to take legal steps in response. It was “unacceptable” that Megapolis Media had only informed the broadcaster’s management after TV2’s agreement with Magyar Broadcasting, they added.
They insisted that the current situation would not affect the agreement reached with Magyar Broadcasting.
Photo: TV2 Facebook page