Gremi Grupa media assets to list in Warsaw on July 1

By bne IntelliNews June 15, 2015

Gremi Grupa's media assets will be listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on July 1, the owner of the investment group  Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, told local media on June 12.

The float will initially see Gremi Media buy the shares in Presspublica - publisher of the flagship Rzeczpospolita newspaper - from stakeholders Gremi Grupa and KCI. The value of the transaction is estiamted at PLN234mn by financial website Bankier.pl. The businessman also hinted at a Gremi Media IPO later this year.

The businessman plans to build a “technologically advanced Poland-centred media group,” in a move perhaps motivated by the current fight for market share in Polish media and IT. Hajdarowicz said Gremi Media will attempt to take over IT companies servicing small and medium enterprises, ISBNews reported on June 12.

With consumer spending growing strongly, M&A and capital raising is ongoing across the sector. Media company Grupa Wirtualna Polska - operator of Poland's biggest internet portal - started trading on the WSE on May 8. TV and internet operator TVN was bought by US group Scripps Interactive in March.

“Getting listed [on the WSE] and raising capital should help create a new, technologically advanced group that will stand a real chance of joining the leaders of the Polish media market,” Hajdarowicz told Rzeczpospolita in April.
 
He also claimed Poland needs a media group of its own on a market that is becoming “dominated by large German companies”. Polish media should have decision centres in Warsaw, not abroad, he added. The two largest press publishers in Poland are German-owned Bauer and German-Swiss Ringier Axel Springer.

Sales of Rzeczpospolita stabilised in April at 56,200, a decline of only 0.1% y/y. At the same time, that's a far cry from the newspaper’s heyday when it sold close to 200,000 copies. Sales dropped over 7% y/y in 2014.

The Polish advertising market is forecast to rise by around 5% overall this year, but the print segment is lagging badly. Meanwhile, the internet segment is likely to grow by up to 10% suggest forecasts.

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