bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 26.04.2018 | Name days: Rūsiņš, Sandris, Alīna
LatviaLatvia

Publisher of Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze bought by businessman close to Lembergs

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUChanges have come to Latvia’s press market. Owners of Mediju nams publishing house, including once the chief editor of the company Armands Puce, have sold it to a person largely unknown to media – Nauris Kapostins. In the past, he was not a particularly successful businessman. This is why many believe his ties to Lembergs’ family are far more interesting.

Mediju nams was founded 14 years ago following the decision of the board of Preses nams. Over the years, has changed hands multiple times from Ventspils Nafta to Latvian Shipping company’s subsidiary Lasco Investments. 6.5 years ago the publishing house was bought by MN Mediji, which was founded by Armands Puce and Uldis Dreiblats, as well as once the vice-president of Preses nams Lilita Seimuskane, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Mediju nams currently publishes Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze, several magazines (Sporta Avīze and Vakara Ziņas), offers photo agency services and maintains an internet portal. The company’s base capital reaches EUR 13 million. Last year’s losses are estimated at EUR 800,000. According to Mediju nams’ budget estimates, losses may reach EUR 900,000 in 2016. This can be explained with the lasting decline in the market for printed press.

But even in such a grim situation the company has managed to find a buyer. Mediju nams’ announcement mentions Nauris Kapostins as the buyer. He is best known for co-hosting the Legendary hunters programme with Roberts Klimovics.

Kapostins had first appeared in spring and extended such a good offer to MN Mediji that they agreed to accept it after a short time.

«The offer was mutually beneficial to both sides. We came to an agreement on exact numbers during talks. It is confidential information I do not wish to disclose,» – said Kapostins.

Armands Puce refused to provide an interview. He did admit, however, that the market’s situation is not brilliant. He added that he was ready to sell his shares even earlier.

Lilita Seimuskane agreed to sell her shares once one of her partners told her about Kapostins’ offer. She was convinced by the price and the fact that Mediju nams is in dire need of investments.

«The finance model that was present in the company for the past 6.5 years was too was too heavy for us. At the same time, we have become emotionally attached to workers and the company. We also understand that it is unlikely that we could come across a better offer in relation to optimization and investments,» – explains Seimuskane.

Kapostins did not explain he reasons behind his decision to enter the media business. «It is all part of the process. There is no reason to see it only as media business. It is a business project as a whole and there are digits, mathematics and indexes that require improvements.»

Kapostins plans to improve indexes with new products in the digital environment. He does not plan to stop publishing NRA. «There is a lot of work ahead, specifically in the digital environment. We do plan to keep printed media as an important platform for expression of public opinions.»

One of the special sections of NRA is dedicated to the court process involving Aivars Lembergs and his son Anrijs. One of its authors is the now former co-owner of Mediju nams Uldis Dreiblats. Articles usually cover a lot of what Lembergs’ lawyers have to say. Decisions and actions of the prosecution are regularly criticized.

Belief that the newspaper is under influence of Lembergs is merely a stereotype, says Saimuskane, who is an old associate of Lembers from Ventspils Development Agency. «This stereotype formed in Diena, when it was managed by Sarmite Elerte. Since then this stereotype has been thoroughly cultivated. It is very difficult to combat this stereotype, because it has remarkably deep and old roots,» – says Seimuskane.

Combating this stereotype has been particularly hard, considering that Aivars Lembergs’ son-in-law Janis Austrins worked in the board of Mediju nams until recently. Anrijs Lembergs married two years ago. His wife is Liene Kapostina. It is no coincidence that she shares the surname of the new owner – Nauris Kapostins is her brother.

In addition, Kapostins admits that he has known Austrins for a long time. He does say, however, that this fact in unimportant: «You’re looking for sensational news where there is none and you’re trying to tie together cases that have no correlation to one another.»

Kapostins claims he bought Mediju nams with his own money, and that he does not intend to represent anyone. When asked about Kapostins, Aivars Lembergs replied in a short form: «I don’t know the situation. […] I was present at the wedding, but I don’t know him.»

Several years ago, Anda Rozukalne, head of Communication Studies Department of Riga Stradins University, had researched the ties that bind owners of different media in her book. Her conclusion was that official owners behind media are nothing more than a storefront to hide influential beneficiaries. Her commentary on the sale of Mediju nams Rozukalne had sent in an e-mail from USA: «The deal seems similar to the restructuring of multiple companies part of Diena, when the actual owner delegates authority over the media to a trusted person, usually a closely related businessman that can be easily used to extend one’s reach. It is clear that this businessman is incapable of making decisions on his own. His business career is impossible without his owner. His knowledge and experience in media are very much close to absolute zero.»

Media researcher also emphasizes that selling the company in a time when it works with losses proves what is already clear: «Politically influenced media companies cannot function successfully without support from wealthy owners. Combining politically influenced information with professional information, making look like a company is an important player in media – these approaches simply do not work. Business losses are a price that has to be paid.»

Rozukalne also mentioned a particularly negative sign. There had been media professionals among previous owners of Mediju nams, but the choice of the new owner proves the actual beneficiary does not care how much potential managers work in the industry, because the only thing important to him is the ability to influence contents.

Ref: 102.109.109.7986


Leave a reply

Danske Bank to gradually cease servicing Baltic clients

In Baltic States, Danske Bank plans to focus solely on providing support to subsidiaries of Nordic clients, as well as global corporations with a considerable business portion in Nordic countries. Leaving private persons and local businesses servicing sector will be performed in a gradual manner, as reported by acting manager of Danske Bank’s Communication Office in Latvia Zane Strade.

Latvian Saeima establishes ban for banks to service shell companies

Banks registered in Latvia will no longer be allowed to work with shell companies and service their accounts. This is provided by amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing approved by the Saeima on Thursday, 26 April, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.

Ex-minister: Latvia’s biggest problem is the older generation of politicians

Older generation of politicians is Latvia’s largest problem. Some of those people are due for retirement. This is why the main objective for ‘Kustība Par!’ is involving a new generation of young and perspective politicians, says the party’s leader Daniels Pavļuts.

Danske Bank may announce its exit from Baltic States

Danske Bank Group’s office in Lithuania may announce on Thursday, 27 April, its plans to leave Lithuania and, possibly, the Baltic States, as BNS news agency’s Lithuanian branch was told by two sources.

«Oligarch talks» publication law put on hold; will fabricated «risks» impact UGF?

On Tuesday, 25 April, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee decided against putting up for a vote the legislative draft for the digitization and publication of the declassified portion of materials from the so-called oligarch talks criminal case.

OECD to perform independent audit of decisions made by Latvian supervisory services

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development plans to perform an independent audit of decisions made by the Finance Capital and Market Commission and Anti-money Laundering Service, as confirmed by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola after a meeting of Finance Sector Development Council on 25 April.

Level of prices of agricultural products in Latvia grew 11.6% in 2017

The total price index of agricultural output in 2017 had increased by 11.6 %, which was mainly due to the rise in prices of livestock products of 25.8 %. The price index of crop products grew by 2.2 %.

51% of residents would not purchase goods production of which would pollute the environment

Environment-friendly lifestyle in Latvia, like elsewhere in the world, is becoming more popular every day. So-called green thinking also affects Latvian residents’ habits. 53% of Latvian residents prefer goods and services that help protect the environment, according to results of a study performed by AS Latvijas Zaļais punkts.

World Press Freedom index ranks Estonia highest among Baltic states

The French-based organisation Reporters Without Borders has published its 2018 World Press Freedom index, where Estonia has been ranked 12th and Latvia has been moved up by four positions to the 24th place.

Abu Meri: parliamentary investigative committee could help combat corruption in Riga City Council

«Nils Ušakovs’ policy in Riga is not only non-democratic but also allows for systematic corruption, which has become a tradition. If a week goes by with no scandal, it seems too long. Because of that, I consider forming a parliamentary investigative committee to study corruption in Riga City Council,» said Unity’s Saeima faction leader Hosams Abu Meri in an interview to BNN.

200 thousand Estonian e-mail passwords found leaked online

The global database of the illegally leaked passwords of tons of e-mail addresses contains passwords used by some 215 000 Estonian internet users.

Latvian EC Commissioner invites businesses to prepare for all Brexit scenarios

Businesses and supervisors should prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios, said Deputy Chairman of the European Commission on Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Market Union Valdis Dombrovskis participating in the ongoing finance forum City Week in the UK.

Latvia prepared to pay 4.8 million euros for participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai

Latvian government is prepared for participation in the international Expo 2020 in Dubai. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis said after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers this Tuesday that it is planned to allocate EUR 4.8 million for this venture.

Spanish resort city to prohibit renting apartments to tourists

Palma, the Spanish resort city in the Mediterranean island of Majorca, has adopted a restriction that apartment will be not allowed to rent their apartments to travellers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a ban.

Supreme Court of Justice views Kristovskis’ claim against Ventspils City Council

On 25 April, the Administrative Cases Department of the Supreme Court of Justice will be viewing two claims submitted by Ventspils City Council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis against the city council. «The fact that the case will be viewed verbally and that the defendants include Ventspils City Council, EPRDM and Association of Local Governments is considered unique and unprecedented in Latvia’s court practice,» says Kristovskis.

Messaging app Whatsapp not to be available to under-16s in EU

The smartphone messaging app Whatsapp plans to raise the minimum age limit to its European Union users from 13 to 16 years, as it is adjusting its rules of use to the upcoming EU data privacy regulations.

Saeima speaker in Tallinn: EU and NATO cooperation in defence should be enhanced

Close cooperation between European Union and NATO in defence is now more important than ever. This is especially true for cyber security and hybrid-thread prevention, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during a meeting of EU member states parliaments in Tallinn on Tuesday, 24 April.

Ministry avoids going against supporting parties; Ventspils City Council’s violations reported to court

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has no influence at all, and sometimes it seems it has no desire to exercise its rights and perform its duties. This situation most likely appeared because the institution is led by a minister who represents a specific political party.

Warfare in Ukraine escalates, soldiers wounded

In the Donbas War that continues for the fifth year in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russian hybrid forces have this week conducted a total of 44 attacks, wounding five soldiers, the Ukrainian military reports.

Demand for mortgage loans grew 53% in March

Increased demand for mortgage loans with state guarantees was observed in Latvia in March. Nearly every other loan application filed last month was intended for housing purchase using Altum guarantee. The largest amount of interest came from families with children, as reported by Citadele Bank.

Most businesses in Latvia still not ready for data protection regulation

The majority of businesses in Latvia are still not ready for EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is due to come to force on 25 May, says KPMG lawyer and certified data protection specialist Sanita Pētersone.

Finnish prisoners found radicalising towards Islamic and far-right extremism

In prisons in Southern Finland, a study of radicalisation of inmates has been conducted and has identified dozens of inmates, who are moving into either radical Islam or into far-right violent extremism.

Ušakovs invites colleagues from Russia to attend centenary festivities in Riga

Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs has invited mayors from 56 cities to attend festivities organized for Latvia’s centenary. This includes mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as confirmed by Ušakovs’ press-secretary Laila Ivāna.

Estonian President sees no return from e-governance

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Baltic country's experience in providing public e-services to the population.

Norway interested in developing cooperation with Latvia in tourism industry

«Latvia welcomes successful regional and economic cooperation with Norway. Our countries have common values and goals – developing Baltic and Nordic countries as a wealthy and secure European region,» said Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens during his meeting with Norwegian State Secretary for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Roy Angelvik.