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POLAND: Agora to Buy Radio Zet

Agora is expected to buy minority shares of the first Polish, privately-owned commercial radio station Radio ZET, which exists in since 1990. Radio Zet is part of  the larger Eurozet group. It is one of the top 3 radios with the highest number of listeners.

Agora, the owner of the opposition daily “Gazeta Wyborcza” announced that it has agreed to buy 40% of the shares at PLN 130 million. The remaining shares are to be purchased by the Czech SFS Ventures fund, which agreed to resell them back to Agora within 1 to 3 years. George Soros, reportedly owns shares in both Agora and the SFS Ventures.

The radio station was initially expected to be bought by the Fratria group – owned by the Karnowski brothers – favourable to the ruling party and including outlets, such as the weekly “Sieci” and the online portal wPolityce.pl. The sale of the radio station may once again spark discussions regarding the concentration of media in Poland. The ruling party previously signalled its intentions to look into this issue, though, no actions have been taken.  However, with the ongoing election season, it is unlikely that the party will undertake any controversial regulatory actions. Still, experts agree, that despite the lack of intervention, this deal fits the repolonisation policyof the ruling party.