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Serbs Buys Macedonia’s Alfa TV

October 26, 2012

Serbia’s CHS has bought Macedonia’s Alfa TV, Balkan Insight can reveal, though the change in ownership has yet to be brought before Macedonia’s Broadcasting Council.

Sase Dimovski, Gordana Andric, Balkan Insight, 25.10.2012

 

Balkan Insight has seen documents from the Macedonian Central Registry, which show the TV station’s new owner already listed.

CHS, through a firm registered in Skopje, CHS Invest Group, paid 2.5 million euro to the Skopje-based Fersped company for 56 per cent of the shares in the station.

News about the sale has not been shared with the station’s employees or with the public in Macedonia.

“The company has decided not to disclose details about the sale of Alfa TV as yet,” Melpomeni Korneti, manager of Alfa Skop, which owned Alfa TV, told Balkan Insight.

The Serbian firm, with its address listed as 7, Savski Nasip, Belgrade, is in turn wholly owned owned by Comtrade Holding, an offshore company based in the Dutch Antilles.

CHS Invest Group was established in Skopje on June 12, few days before the registry listed the purchase of the TV station on June 25.

CHS’s address in Skopje has been registered at the same address as the TV station.

The head of CHS Invest Group, now a majority shareholder in the TV station, is the Belgrade journalist, Simonida Kazic.

Kazic was part of the team of the Pink TV, owned by Serbian businessman Zeljko Mitrovic which was expected to buy Alfa TV two years ago.

The deal between Mitrovic and Fersped’s owner Sterjo Nakov collapsed hours before the official takeover, reportedly because the two sides could not agree on the payment.

Kazic, who it is now reported will be at the helm of Alfa TV, has been monitoring conditions in the outlet for several months.

Alfa employees say that they have been unofficially told that new owners would take over the station by the end of this month.

Recently, another Serbian company, Internet Group, also tied to Comtrade, bought half of another Macedonian media company, MPM, from Germany’s WAZ.

MPM in Macedonia publishes three daily newspapers, Dnevnik, Utrinski Vesnik and Vest, along with several periodicals.

Despite the change in the Central Registry, Alfa TV and its new owners have not yet asked the Broadcasting Council for approval of the change, which they are obliged to seek by law.

“We have checked all the requests for a change of ownership but we have not received such a request from Alfa TV,” a source in the Broadcasting Council told Balkan Insight.

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