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Lithuanian expert: It's important is that TV3 remains in hands of Western investors

  • 2017-03-18
  • Sarunas Sabaitis

VILNIUS - Swedish media group MTG's decision to sell its Baltic business, including Lithuania's television group TV3, to US-based Providence Equity Partners will allow maintaining Western business traditions in the media market, a Lithuanian communication and media expert said.

"It is important that the media business of strategic importance to us remains in the hands of Western capital," Nerijus Maliukevicius, a lecturer at Vilnius University's International Relations and Political Science Institute, told BNS.

"We have had other examples where media enterprises have been taken over from Scandinavian investors by our local businesses and the acquired media have become a subsidiary or even ancillary business of the new owners," he said.

MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's largest business groups, in 2003 bought the LNK television channel from Sweden's Bonnier.

"Western ownership is important because Western media principles are maintained. The more Western-owned businesses we have, the better," the expert said.

He added that this is not only about the political principles, but also about the general business management principles.

Maliukevicius said that the TV3 sale should also allay fears over MTG's possible links to Russian businesses.

MTG said on Friday that it is selling 100 percent of its Baltic business to Providence Equity Partners, the owner of the telecoms group Bite, which operates in Lithuania and Latvia.