April 11, 2019 / 8:12 AM / 2 months ago

Polish oil firm PKN plans to take over press distributor Ruch

WARSAW, April 11 (Reuters) - Poland’s PKN Orlen submitted an offer on Thursday to provide financing for troubled newspaper distributor Ruch, with the intention of taking it over, the state-run oil firm’s chief executive said.

The takeover of Ruch by a state-run company would fall under a wider policy by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which aims to take more control over Poland’s main assets, including the media.

“We have submitted a financing offer today, with the intention of taking over 100 percent of the company’s shares,” Daniel Obajtek, PKN Chief Executive said on Twitter.

“The due diligence study indicated synergies between the Ruch business model based on the press distribution and the PKN Orlen retail segment. The finalization of the offer depends on the creditors’ decisions,” Obajtek also said.

Sources told Reuters in January that PKN offered liquidity to Ruch with a plan to buy it.

The 100-year old Ruch is a well known brand in Poland and is now owned by investment fund Lurena Investment. State-run Alior Bank is one of its biggest debt-holders.

According to Poland’s Press Publishers Chamber, Ruch has around a 30-percent share in the Polish press distribution market but newspaper circulation has been hit by the shift to online news. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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