Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Eesti Meedia in Tabloid Sales Row
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Court of Arbitration decided Ekspress Grupp, the owner of Delfi, must pay an additional 632,000 euros to Eesti Meedia, owner of Postimees, for the purchase of the co-owned daily Õhtuleht.
The nation's two largest media companies had agreed in mid-May that price of Õhtuleht and Ajakirjade Kirjastus, a magazine publisher, was 2.7 million euros, but that figure has now risen to 3.3 million.
According to Postimees, the court found that Ekspress Grupp had hoped for a lower evaluation of the two companies, which was conducted by a group of independent auditors, and sued Eesti Meedia when the price was revealed to be too high.
The sale of the co-owned companies was made possible last year when Eesti Meedia changed hands, with Ekspress Grupp taking advantage of a clause to purchase the co-owned companies. But the two parent companies did not find common ground in a number of factors, including price.
Eesti Meedia took Ekspress Grupp to arbitration court in January, demanding 8.6 million euros from the latter for not paying the sum for Õhtuleht and Ajakirjade Kirjastus on time.
Ekspress Grupp counter-sued two months later for 3.6 million euros, saying Eesti Meedia has delayed the sale.
The court's opinion, which came out Friday night, also ruled Eesti Meedia must pay Ekspress Grupp 68,000 euros in procedural expenses.
The two media companies also argued over the sale of a third co-owned company, Express Post, but Eesti Meedia retracted its complaints.