Outside Experts Put Price Tag on Potential Eesti Meedia Buyout
Initial speculation on the estimated cost of the potential Eesti Meedia management buyout has ranged from 20 to 45 million euros.
The investment bank JP Morgan put the acquisition, from Norway's Schibsted, in the neighborhood of 20 million euros, reported Äripäev.
Another guess, by Ekspress Grupp CEO Gunnar Kobin, is 35-45 million euros, according to Eesti Päevaleht.
As Eesti Meedia's executives can't afford the buyout on their own, both of the aforementioned newspapers also came out with the name of a potential major investor today: Margus Linnamäe, a businessman in the medical industry.
"It can't be ruled out that Schibsted decides to sell Eesti Meedia with one hand and lend money to the management with the other hand, because there may not be many competing potential buyers,“ Kobin told Eesti Päevaleht.
Kobin said the departure of foreign owners will probably not bring dramatic changes to the Estonian media landscape, although it would level out competition with Ekspress Grupp.
"Pressure on efficiency will increase because the Schibsted backing that has so far been used for patching the holes will go away,“ Kobin said.
It was reported yesterday that negotiations have been under way between Eesti Meedia and Schibsted for several months, as the latter is seeking to restructure in light of a new focus on classified advertising.