The second most popular commercial channel group, TV2, has been transferred under the influence of the richest Hungarian person, Lőrinc Mészáros. Despite previous years’ significant losses, the company managed to gain profit this year, which can be attributed to the huge amount of advertising investments financed by the state.
As the Hungarian news portal Forbes describes, as a result of the transactions’ closure and the contribution of The Hungarian Competition Authority, József Vida purchased the media portfolio of the channel group.
According to the preliminary announcement, TV2 channel group will be acquired by Abraham Goldmann Confidential Trustee co.ltd., owned by József Vida, President and Chief Executive Officer of Savings Bank.
The issue was announced one month ago, 15th April. Apart from the media, the businessman has significant investments in the financial sector, bank IT, real estate management, and financial consultancy. His name is usually associated with the business circle of Lőrincz Mészáros – he is a member of Mészáros’s stock market investment holding, Directorate of Opus Global.
2 years ago, ownership was sold for 2 billion HUF
As a result of the transaction, the Abraham Goldmann Confidential Trustee co.ltd. will acquire 100% ownership of the channel group; however, the contribution of The Hungarian Competition Authority is indispensable. Dependent upon the length of the procedure, the acquisition of the ownership is expected to terminate by the end of July.
From 2016 to now, the TV2 channel group was under the influence of Andy Vajna who passed away this January. Two years ago, the purchase price of the company was evaluated at 19.6 billion HUF. From 2013 on, there were some loss-making years; 2018 was the first profitable year. During Vajna’s ownership, its portfolio was significantly enlarged; new channels were started. The state was continuously investing in the loss-making company, 70 times more than in the case of the market leader, RTL Klub. As a result of the ownership change in 2016, TV2 adopted itself as the “government communication channel” and changed its profile accordingly.
Update – New owner’s comment
Defining it as a business secret, József Vida did not reveal from whom the company was purchased. There were some questionable points regarding the confirmation of the ownership. After Andy Vajna’s death, TV2 was reshaped. It is still hard to follow the lines. According to some sources, some years ago, the company was already sold to a Hungarian woman. Vida did not understand why the previous owner would be important, as he said: “He is an investor who sees potential in the company, not a stooge,” asking “Why is this unbelievable?!”.
He added that if RTL Klub manages to be profitable, then TV2 is also able to do so. Its increasing market share and growing ratings serve as proof of its great potential.
Vida denied that IKO show producer – which used to be TV2’s largest subcontractor – was also purchased by him; he said nothing related him to that company. The financier is not afraid of bankruptcy, does not even see this opportunity; however, in such a case “he would sell everything and spend the remaining fifty years with his animals on his farm; he would be the happiest person in the world.”