Axel Springer has pulled out of a deal to buy a 25.1% stake in the Polish national commercial broadcaster Polsat. Its decision follows reports earlier this week that Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, Polsat’s owner, was seeking a stake in Axel Springer’s extensive print interests in Poland, and even the German company itself, as part of any agreement.
Although Axel Spinger and Polsat agreed a fee of €250 million plus €50 million for the 25.1% stake late last year, the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) subsequently put it on hold. Since then doubts as to its completion began to surface, fuelled in no small part by the belief on Polsat’s part that the initially agreed fee was too low. Polsat as a company has certainly grown in value in the last 12 months, with both its national commercial station and DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat enjoying record revenues.
The development should also come as no surprise given Axel Springer’s recent decision to exit the TV market in Germany. Earlier this week it announced plans to sell its 12% stake in the commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.