February 20, 2019 / 4:39 PM / 6 months ago

Polish media group Agora buys minority share in Radio Zet

WARSAW, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Polish media group Agora has agreed to buy a 40 percent share in Eurozet, the owner of broadcaster Radio Zet, from Czech Media Invest for an initial price of 131 million zlotys ($34.29 million), Agora said on Wednesday.

Agora, whose flagship product is the opposition-linked Gazeta Wyborcza daily, also said Czech SFS Ventures fund agreed to buy the remaining 60 percent of Eurozet. Agora secured an option to buy out SFS Ventures in future.

The deal, when flagged by Agora in January, was criticised by the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government as a threat to Polish media pluralism amid media reports that SFS Ventures is linked to billionaire George Soros, who promotes liberal causes and backs opposition media.

Wirtualnemedia website reported in December that PiS-friendly media group Fratria was also interested in taking over Radio Zet.

In January, PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek tweeted that “the Polish state has to do everything it can to prevent market speculators from increasing their influence on the media market.”

A Soros spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. ($1 = 3.8206 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Additional reporting by Marcin Goclowski; editing by David Evans)

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