Levira unaffected by ownership change

  • 2006-10-18
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The change in ownership at Teledifusion de France (TDF), the French company that controls 49 percent of shares in Estonia's Levira broadcasting company, will not affect Levira's operations. In fact, just the opposite is true, the Estonian company announced, as Levira may try to enter other Baltic markets.

Last week, TDF signed an agreement with new investors. The new owners will gain 60 percent of the company and bring in capital necessary to support the firm's expansion and reorganization.
Levira board member Indrek Lepp told the Baltic News Service that the change in TDF's ownership would not affect Levira, and that the company's earlier plans of expansion were still on track.

The Estonian government is still the majority owner of Levira, controlling 51 percent of the company. Lepp said talks over the change of ownership were being regularly held between the owners, but nothing concrete had been decided.
Lepp said that TDF was interested in expanding to new markets but this depended on investment opportunities. "The Baltic countries are certainly on the horizon, as well as other Scandinavian countries," he added.
In addition to France, TDF currently operates in Spain, Poland, Monaco and Estonia. The new owners of TDF are TPG and AXA Private Equity.

Levira, the former Estonian Broadcasting Transmission Center Ltd, was created as a public company in 1997. The owners are the Estonian state (51 percent) and the French telecom and broadcasting company, TDF (49 percent). Levira has assets of 196.2 million kroons (12.5 million euros). Sales in 2005 were 81 million kroons. Currently 70 people are employed at Levira.