Zoltán Spéder sells off shares in Net Média Zrt.

October 29, 2016


Media interests tied to Zoltán Spéder continue to change hands. Central European Media & Publishing (CEMP) sold one of its subsidiaries, Net Média Zrt., to CEMP director Gabriella Balogh and Net Média Zrt. CEO Zoltán Bán.

Net Média is the publisher of online publications Portfolio.hu, Penzcentrum.hu, and Agrarszektor.hu.

The new owners of Net Média Zrt. are none other than CEMP director Gabriella Balogh and Net Média Zrt. CEO Zoltán Bán.

According to 444.hu, CEMP is the final business asset held by Zoltán Spéder’s holding company, A64 Vagyonkezelő Kft., which sold its 31 percent stake in FHB to two savings cooperatives for a reported HUF 7.5 billion (USD 27 million) two weeks ago.

Upon liquidating his shares in the bank, Spéder resigned as its CEO, a position he had held since 2008.

Prior to selling his shares in FHB, Spéder sold most of his shares in Budapest Ingatlan Hasznosítási  és Fejlesztési Nyrt. to László Horváth, another businessman with close links to Fidesz and the government, for a reported HUF 1.55 billion (USD 5.7 million).

The fate of other online publications owned by CEMP, including the popular online daily Index.hu and Napi.hu, remains to be seen.

According to hvg.hu, Spéder has also incorporated a new holding company for CEMP. The holding company is known as Cemp-x online Zrt., and is owned exclusively by Spéder. Unlike CEMP, Spéder has no management position in Cemp-x online Zrt., but the board of the new company is made up of Gábor Ziegler, András Pusztay, and Lénárd Ferenc Prigyeni — all of whom are tied to CEMP and its subsidiaries.

The architect and one of the main beneficiaries of the nationalization and re-privitization of the savings cooperative giant Takarékbank in 2013 and 2014, Spéder, a close confidante of Minister Overseeing the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár, appears to have run afoul of certain powerful individuals linked to Fidesz, and became the subject of a criminal investigation earlier this year that included a police search of his house.