Bodo Hombach, WAZ Group CEO, said, in an interview for Handelsblatt.com, that the company is going to sell the shares it owns in companies in Eastern Europe. He explained that “South-East Europe is no future market for us. We do not want to increase there”.
Hombach said the group is ready to sell the shares it owns in media companies in South-Eastern Europe “if the conditions are right”. The company already decided to renounce to its newspaper in Serbia, Politika daily and Dnevnik daily.
According to the article published by Handelsblatt.com, the company will sell by the end of the year the participations it has in Serbia and Romania. The company was present until now in media companies in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Hungary.
The trigger that made WAZ decide to make a tactical retreat from the region was the widespread abuse of power, especially the fights between moguls and political power.
WAZ is in expectation in what concerns the climbing out in Romania, according to Handelsblatt.com. According to the publication’s info, WAZ has an offer from Adamescu family for the buy of the 50% shares it owns in the Romania libera daily and it is said that negotiations are advancing fast, the moment of signing documents being close.
Not only the war between moguls and politicians made WAZ decide to pull off the region, but also the decline of the South-Eastern European advertising market. As the advertising budgets in the region registered a severe decline since the start of the crisis, even with double digits percentages, the Romanian advertising market fell for newspapers, in 2009, with almost 70 percent.
In print market, WAZ is publishing 33 dailies, 18 weeklies and over 170 magazines. WAZ operates in Germany, but also in Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia.
In Romania, WAZ is a partner in Medien Holding and shareholder of the companies R – publisher of Romania Libera daily – and Domus – magazine publisher.