Gremi Grupa plans to float media assets in Warsaw

By bne IntelliNews May 1, 2015

Owner of investment group Gremi Grupa Grzegorz Hajdarowicz plans to float the group’s media assets - including the Rzeczpospolita broadsheet - on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) in 2015, local media reported on April 30.

Hajdarowicz plans to build a “technologically advanced Poland-centred media group,” he said, in a move perhaps motivated by the current fight for market share in Polish media and IT. With consumer spending rising, capital raising is ongoing across the sector. Media company Grupa Wirtualna Polska - operator of Poland's biggest internet portal - is about to start trading on the WSE on May 8.

Hajdarowicz plans to move his media assets to one of the three listed companies that he controls: NFI Jupiter, KCI, or Gremi Media. These media assets are currently owned by Gremi Business Communications and include several newspapers and magazines, including flagship daily Rzeczpospolita.

“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 on April 30. 

He claims 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.

Rzeczpospolita is the only daily newspaper seeing rising sales, which grew 0.5% in February to just over 57,000 copies. 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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