Croatia: Antitrust green lights Nova TV takeover
May 9, 2018
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Croatia’s Agency for the Protection of Market Competition (AZTN) has given the green light for the purchase of the country’s most popular commercial TV channel Nova TV by Slovenia Broadband.
The buyer is owned by US investment fund KKR, which in turn controls Balkan multi-play operator United Group.
In its ruling, the AZTN stated that the concentration would not have a significant effect on competition, as it would not create new or strengthen the existing dominant position of market participants.
The AZTN ruling follows a decision of Croatia’s media regulator, the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM), which in March decided that the concentration involving Slovenia Broadband and Nova TV “is not deemed unacceptable in terms of the provisions of the Electronic Media Act”.
Following these decisions by the Croatian regulatory bodies, there is now no obstacle for the planned takeover of Nova TV.
Last July, KKR announced that United Group has agreed to acquire the Croatian (Nova TV) and Slovenian media assets (Pop TV, Pro Plus and Kanal A) owned by CME, subject to the relevant regulatory approvals. At the time, CME said the transaction is worth €230 million.
In Slovenia, the Public Agency for the Protection of Competition has yet to decide on the takeover of the media portfolio of CME by KKR.