Ekspress Grupp, one of Estonia's two big media concerns, confirmed it is moving to acquire a stake in three companies, including popular tabloid Õhtuleht, after a change of ownership at the other group activated a first right of refusal clause.
Õhtuleht vies with Postimees for the country's most-read print newspaper. The other companies are Ajakirjade Kirjastus, a magazine publisher; and Express Post, a mail service.
Besides a 50 percent stake in the companies, Ekspress Grupp has first right of refusal to acquire the companies and their brands.
Eesti Meedia announced on September 12 that its sole holding was being transferred to a new owner, following a 30-million-euro management buyout from Norwegian publishing empire Schibsted. Eesti Meedia is now owned by Mart Kadastik along with other management members; and Margus Linnamäe, each with half of the group.
Ekspress Meedia CEO Gunnar Kobin said recently that Ekspress had not decided whether to exercise the first right pending official word from Eesti Meedia, and due diligence.