|Onet.pl boasts 14 million monthly users|
Ringier Axel Springer, a joint venture between German publisher Axel Springer and Swiss firm Ringier, has been given the green light from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) to buy Poland’s most popular web portal, Onet.pl.
Onet.pl has 14 million monthly users, which is roughly 72 percent of all internet users in Poland. UOKiK decided that the takeover would not limit market competition. Ringier Axel Sp-ringer also owns Poland’s number-one tabloid Fakt, as well as the Polish editions of magazines Newsweek and Forbes.
The deal sees Ringier Axel Sp-ringer paying zł.956 million for 75 percent of Onet from TV broadcaster TVN.
Ringer Axel Springer valued Onet at zł.1.2 billion, below TVN’s own valuation, but more than analysts’ expected, reported Reuters.
TVN suffered a Q2 net loss of zł.230.6 million, worse than the zł.214 million loss analysts had expected, and the Onet.pl sale is likely part of a strategy to shed non-core business.
Two weeks ago, UOKiK also approved a deal that will see its pay-per-view TV unit merged into a venture controlled by Vivendi’s Canal+.
Reuters also reported that the price for the 75 percent stake in Onet.pl could still increase to over zł.1 billion at the deal’s closing, expected at the turn of 2012.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Remi Adekoya
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