STA, 30 September 2020 - Telekom Slovenije's sale of Planet TV to Hungarian media company TV2 Media has been finalised, the national telco said on Wednesday. The purchase price is EUR 5 million, but Telekom also provided a capital injection for its troubled subsidiary, which produces the eponymous TV channel, via debt to equity conversion before finalising the transaction.
Telekom already signed the sales contract with TV2 Media, owned by Jozsef Vida, whom media associate with the business network of the Hungarian ruling party Fidesz, in July. It said now that Planet TV has not been sold at a loss.
From Thursday, Planet TV will be formally part of TV2 group, which will add three to its portfolio of 14 TV channels.
The company said that new executive director of Planet TV will be Pavel Stantchev, already executive director at TV2. Špela Pirnat, who served as financial director between 2013 and 2016, will join Planet TV as financial director.
Stantchev pledged for the team to work hard to meet expectations of the greatest possible number of viewers, while bringing greater competitiveness and choice needed in the Slovenian market.
Telekom launched Planet TV in 2012 under the then Janez Janša government. It was reported that the telecoms incumbent had been looking for a strategic partner which would buy a 49% share in the TV production company already at the beginning of January, only to change its mind later on.
According to the newspaper Delo, Planet TV has cost Telekom Slovenije EUR 80 million in the form of capital injections, advertisements, loans and other services since it was launched in September 2012, and has operated in the red.
The latest blow was the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce ordering Telekom last year to pay a EUR 23 million buyout to Antenna Group, the Greek partner who wanted out of the joint venture.
The news portal Necenzurirano.si has reported about unofficial plans to merge Planet TV and Nova24TV, the news portal and website associated with Janša's ruling Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and also in the ownership of Hungarian individuals reportedly close to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban.
Meanwhile, Telekom moreover started this month with procedures to sell its subsidiary TS Media, which owns the news portal Siol, as well as the web portals Najdi.si in Bizi.si.