Praimedia Services Withdrawing from Deal on Bulgaria's TV7

Business | November 3, 2015, Tuesday // 11:25|  views

Burgas-based Praimedia EOOD on Tuesday announced it was pulling out of a deal it signed this spring to buy TV7, Super7 and News7 TV stations.

The company cites, in a statement quoted by BGNES wire service, "refusal" by the state to register its new owners over alleged non-compliance with with the Commerce Act of the Republic of Bulgaria.

In the words of Asen Asenov, owner and CEO at Praimedia, it is the country's Registry Agency that is "depriving" the management of running its own company and help the three TV stations to recover.

Many reports suggest Praimedia's affiliation to Nikolay Malinov, the head of the National Russophile Movement, a former official of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ex-publisher of its newspaper, Duma ("Word").

Last week, the company submitted a request with the Council on Electronic Media, Bulgaria's broadcasting regulator, to register News TV, a new polythematic channel that is to be aired on cable and satellite TV.

The three stations concerned above, TV7, News7 and Super7, have been broadcast nationally for years.

However, millions in loans unpaid by previous owners to now collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) prompted KTB's trustees to send a bailiff who tried to take out equipment placed as bank loan collateral, citing a case of litigation.

A scandal erupted then with police trying to assist the bailiff and journalists protesting and what they called an infringement on freedom of speech.

Praimedia later voiced their commitment to secure part of the funding needed to repay the loans.

On Wednesday, it cited its actions back in the spring as a proof of its efforts to help employees of the three channels "defend their professionalism, their notion of media and civic behaviour.

"A very substantial force was employed to hinder us. Readiness and patience to fund a business one cannot run, however, has its limit. I therefore regrettably admit we are forced to withdraw from this project. I underline this, we are forced to," Asenov is quoted as saying.

You can read more about the case with TV7 here.

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Tags: TV7, News7, Super7, News TV, Nikolay Malinov, Praimedia, Corporate Commercial Bank, Corpbank, KTB


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