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Closing: CMI Sale of Eurozet Group to SFS Ventures and Agora Now Closed

Closing: CMI Sale of Eurozet Group to SFS Ventures and Agora Now Closed

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On February 27, 2023, Greenberg Traurig announced that CMI’s sale of the Eurozet Group to SFS Ventures and Agora (reported by CEE Legal Matters on February 25, 2019) had closed following a favorable merger clearance decision by the Warsaw Court of Appeal.

In early 2021, Agora had challenged a decision of the President of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection which prohibited the company from taking control over Eurozet (as reported on February 15, 2021).

According to Greenberg Traurig, “the Court of Appeal in Warsaw fully shared the standpoint of Agora and dismissed the appeal of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Thus, the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the District Court in Warsaw from May 12, 2022, which granted unconditional consent to Agora's acquisition of control over Eurozet.” This ruling is final and it “allowed the transaction to be finalized and Agora acquired a controlling stake in Eurozet.”

According to the firm, “In May 2022, the District Court in Warsaw, after proceedings on Agora’s appeal, announced a judgment amending in its entirety the decision of the President of the OCCP of January 7, 2021, prohibiting Agora's acquisition of control over Eurozet. The District Court considered the arguments raised in Agora's appeal and found that the transaction would not lead to a significant restriction of competition. The Court of Appeal confirmed that all the conditions for granting unconditional approval for the transaction had been met, while all the OCCP’s pleas were rejected.”

As originally reported, Clifford Chance Warsaw had advised Czech Media Invest on the sale of Polish radio company Eurozet to Prague-based SFS Ventures and its partner, Polish media group Agora. Rymarz Zdort Martua (Weil, Gotshal, Manges at the time) advised SFS Ventures while Greenberg Traurig represented Agora in the acquisition.

The sale was conducted through Czech Media Invest, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Czech Radio Center. SFS Ventures acquired 60% of the share capital of Eurozet and Agora acquired the remaining 40%, as a passive minority investor with an option to buy out SFS Ventures in the future.

Eurozet engages in the production and broadcasting of radio programs, the sale of advertising time, and brokerage for stations and websites, as well as the creation and management of websites. It owns and operates radio stations, sells the advertising time of stations belonging to the group, and provides brokerage activities for other participants of the radio market in Poland. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in Warsaw, Poland.

CMI is a holding company that focuses on acquisitions and management of media assets in Central and Western Europe.

SFS Ventures is a Czech joint venture between Sourcefabric, which was founded in Prague in 2010 to support independent journalism worldwide through open-source digital newsroom solutions, and Media Development Investment Fund – an investment fund for independent news businesses. MDIF is a mix of 30 US and European investment funds, private investors, media companies, foundations, development agencies, and development finance institutions. MDIF is also a co-founder of the European Press Prize Foundation, a grouping of European media-owning foundations.

Agora is a media corporation in Poland that publishes Gazeta Wyborcza, a nationwide daily newspaper. Listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the company owns local music radio stations Zlote Przeboje, Rock Radio, Radio Pogoda, and the online radio station Tuba FM, and it is the majority owner of the multiregional Radio TOK FM. 

Greenberg Traurig's team included Managing Partner Jaroslaw Grzesiak, Partners Robert Gago and Rafal Baranowski, Senior Associates Filip Kijowski, Ewa Tabor-Maciejewska, Agnieszka Stopinska, and Anna Celejewska-Rajchert, and Associates Tomasz Denko, Filip Drgas, and Marta Kownacka.

Clifford Chance's team was led by Counsel Krzysztof Hajdamowicz and included Associate Zuzanna Potoczna. 

The Rymarz Zdort Martua team was supervised by Managing Partner Pawel Rymarz and Partner Lukasz Gasinski and included Partners Iwona Her and Marcin Iwaniszyn, Counsel Monika Kierepa, Lawyers Marzena Iskierka, Monika Michalowska, and Leszek Cyganiewicz, and Associates Jakub Czerka and Michal Milewski.

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