STA, 31 May 2022 - The company Nova Obzorja, which publishes weekly Demokracija and web portal Škandal24.si, has a new majority owner. The two-third majority share has been transferred from Hungarian company R-Post-R to NovaTV24.si, the company running the Nova24TV news television channel.
According to data by AJPES, the agency for public legal records, the Hungarian company owned by businessman Peter Schatz, one of the key players in Hungarian PM Viktor Orban's media expansion in the Balkans, is no longer the owner of 65.85% of Nova Obzorja.
As of 25 May, the new majority owner is NovaTV24.si, while the remaining 30.14% is still owned by the Democratic Party (SDS) and 4% by SDS MP Dejan Kaloh.
But based on the share register and other sources, media reported in recent years that three of NovaTV24.si's largest owners were Hungarian companies associated with Orban and his Fidesz party, which has recently been strengthening its rule in Hungary and spreading its influence in the region.
Reportedly, three largest owners of NovaTV24.si are asset management company Hespereia, financial holding Okeanis and media publisher Ridikul, each owning a 29.3% share. The remaining 12.1% are owned by small shareholders, many of whom are prominent SDS members and people associated with the party.
Hespereia also owns 73% of media company Nova Hiša, the company running web portal Nova24TV. The remaining 27% is owned by small shareholders, many of whom are again prominent SDS members and people associated with the party.
Nova Hiša ownership has remained unchanged for now, and there has also been no reports of ownership changes at NovaTV24.si.
According to unofficial information by portal Necenzurirano, the ownership changes are part of preparations for the sale of the entire media empire associated with the SDS and withdrawal of the Hungarian capital.
The Hungarian financing of these media outlets has been the subject of parliamentary inquiries in recent years while media reported before the start of the term of the outgoing Janez Janša government that the issue was also being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation.