The Slovenia Times

Key segment of Odlazek media empire in hands of bad bank


Ljubljana - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) has become the sole owner of Salomon, a company that forms a key part of a sprawling media empire controlled by Martin Odlazek and his family, after successfully suing to expropriate the only other shareholder, Dolenjski List, another company in the same media empire, Delo reports.

The Novo Mesto District Court granted the bad bank's request to expropriate Dolenjski List by invoking a provision of the companies law that a shareholder may sue to expropriate another shareholder on the grounds that they have caused business damage.

The bad bank argued that Salomon has concluded damaging transactions since 2012, including by extending loan guarantees, taking over unsecured claims and taking loans that it then forwarded to other companies in the system at a lower rate, according to Saturday's edition of Delo.

As a result, the bad bank has increased its stake from 45.39% to 100% and Dolenjski List lost its 54.61% stake. The ruling is not final yet. Odlazek told Delo he planned to lodge an appeal.

Martin Odlazek has build a media group that runs a TV station, more than a dozen radio stations, four daily newspapers, including Večer, Primorske Novice and Svet24, and a stable of magazines, despite rules that prevent horizontal integration in media.

An analysis by Podčrto, an investigative portal, has shown he did this with cross-holdings between dozens of companies, each holding significant stakes in each other but below the threshold that triggers ownership concentration rules for the media sector.

Salomon itself is the publisher of Radio Salomon, the sports daily EkipaSN and a number of magazines. It also owns a 19% stake in the company which publishes the daily Večer.


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