Eesti Meedia Seeks Buyout From Schibsted ({{commentsTotal}})

Eesti Meedia CEO Mart Kadastik
Eesti Meedia CEO Mart Kadastik Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Eesti Meedia is negotiating with its owner, the Norwegian media conglomerate Schibsted, for a management buyout.

Eesti Meedia, a listed corporation, owns Postimees, the Kroonpress printing house and Kanal2, with stakes in Õhtuleht and Express Post. It also holds five of Estonia's biggest regional newspapers and magazines elsewhere in the Baltics, reported Äripäev.

The media company has failed to bring profits to its Norwegian parent for the last eight years.

Eesti Meedia Chairman Mart Kadastik told Postimees that negotiations have carried on for several months and may take a few more weeks. Schibsted, which owns Norway's largest newspapers, changed its priorities several years ago and the potential deal is part of a restructuring plan.

"Schibsted reassessed its strategic priorities a few years ago and their priority is classified advertising. They have reorganized their investments accordingly and in the last few years they have only invested in classifieds,” Kadastik said.

"They accept our vision and mission and feel a great deal of social responsibility for the future of [Eesti Meedia],” Kadastik said.

Kadastik said that it is, nevertheless, not a rescue operation. "We are dealing with a healthy company, just its parent company's priorities have changed.”

Financial resources are being sought from different sources. “Neither I nor the other executives have this kind of capital available in our pockets right now. The talks continue and we will solicit the institutions where money is distributed,” Kadastik said, adding that both the banks and the stock exchange are on the table.

Eesti Meedia's revenue has declined in recent years, dropping from 3.65 million euros in 2011 to 1.32 million euros in 2012.