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Lithuanian TV channel LNK acquires BTV

LNK logotipas
LNK nuotr. / LNK logotipas
Šaltinis: BNS

Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas, the owner of LNK, one of Lithuania’s most popular TV channels, has acquired Baltijos TV, the broadcaster of Lithuania’s BTV television channel. BTW was previously owned by Lubys family-controlled Achemos Grupė (Achema Group), one of Lithuania’s largest business conglomerates.

In its press release circulated on Monday, LNK did not disclose the value of the deal.

Darius Mockus, shareholder and president of MG Baltic which owns Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas, told BNS that the company was seeking to consolidate its positions in the television market.

„We want our business to grow, we want to improve and strengthen our portfolio and position on the market... We still have to get clearance from the Competition Council, this matter has not been finalized yet,“ Mockus told BNS.

“The price bid by Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas for a stake in Baltijos TV was the largest, so we have chosen this particular buyer based on economic considerations,” the press release quoted Arūnas Laurinaitis, Achemos Grupė president.

Zita Sarakienė, CEO of Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas, said that the deal would be closed once cleared by the Competition Council and other institutions.

According to data made available by the market researcher TNS LT, LNK was Lithuania’s most popular TV channel in October, with a daily reach of 40.4 percent and a 17.1 percent audience share.

BTV ranked fourth in Lithuania in terms of audience share in October. The channel had a daily reach of 25.5 percent and a 5.5 percent audience share that month. In 2011 its average audience share made up 5.3 percent.

Baltijos TV, the BTV broadcaster, last year saw its audited losses widen by 3.3 times, year-on-year, to 7.969 million litas (EUR 2.3m). Its revenues contracted by 36 percent, to 6.048 million litas.

Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas last year saw its consolidated net earnings plummet by 3.3 times, year-on-year, to 1.573 million litas.

MG Baltic Media, the media holding of MG Baltic, one of Lithuania’s biggest business conglomerates, held an 80-percent stake in Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas on 31 December 2011. The investment fund Amber Trust owned the remaining 20 percent.

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