Polish oil company PKN Orlen submitted an offer on Thursday to provide financing for the troubled newspaper distributor Ruch, with the intention of taking it over, the state-run oil company’s chief executive said.
“We have submitted a financing offer today, with the intention of taking over 100 percent of the company’s shares,” Daniel Obajtek, PKN chief executive said on Twitter. “The due diligence study indicated synergies between the Ruch business model based on the press distribution and the PKN Orlen retail segment. The finalization of the offer depends on the creditors’ decisions,” Obajtek also said.
If it goes ahead, the takeover of Ruch by a state-run company would fall within the wider policy of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which aims to take more control over Poland’s main economic assets, including the media.
Reuters reports that sources told it in January that PKN had offered liquidity to Ruch with a plan to buy it.
The 100-year old Ruch is a well-known brand in Poland and is at present owned by investment fund Lurena Investment. The state-run Alior Bank is one of its biggest debt-holders.
According to Poland’s Press Publishers Chamber, Ruch has around a 30-percent share in the Polish press distribution market but newspaper circulation has been hit by the shift to online news.