“live link” to Expediencies and Naiveties (Mega Channel)

By: Serafeim Kotrotsos

rizopoulospost editorial 10/3/2016
The case of involvement in the share capital increase process for Mega Channel is not apparently a ticklish television history for gossip among diners at Kolonaki cafes. Those who believe that are mistaken .

This is a finance-business case and undoubtedly political. Very political …

A market which has been shaken to its foundations, a few years ago when even the cows were fat, with the Alter channel “explosion”, would be threatened today with a collapse, if the large shareholders of the channel ended up in deadlock.

A financial institution member, one of the channel creditors (whose loans at the banks reach almost 140 million. euros) told me, without limitation, that a famous record company is ready to start claiming procedures from Mega channel, a debt of EUR 5 million.

First conclusion: The historical channel can not and should not “pop”. Such a development would cost a lot to many.

On the other hand, it would be naive and extremely dangerous for some people in the government to think that a negative development at Mega would be seen as a political “trophy” in the war of the Presidential Mansion against corruption. The competition for broadcasting licenses (must) seek to restore legality in the broadcasting area and is not suitable for clearing accounts. This will be accomplished by the market itself with its inexorable rules and, of course, by Justice- regarding pending matters of some of those involved.

Of course, the three banks that accumulate all of the excessively high loan to the channel are forced to move and to put it into liquidation while in operation, if in the coming days there are no decisions to move on the  long time pending share capital increase.

And then, it is very likely to find some who will hasten to come to an agreement with them to take over the management.

How can something like that happen?

The answer is relatively simple: the assumption of responsibility by repayment of borrowings (with quite favorable terms) and the participation of the banks in the capital against the loan balance. Who would not want to partner with three systemic banks?

When, in fact, the library of Mega channel alone, is composed of extremely popular series -from the “Unacceptable” to “the Island” and “Ten Little Mitsous”- which was previously valued at 200 million Euros and today more than 80 million. One easily understands that a new owner would receive as an inheritance a television program that attracts high viewing rates and many commercials.

However, the question of “why and who would be involved in the Mega Channel management when the tendering process for new licenses is still pending?” sounds reasonable. Reasonable is also the answer given by those who know.

The law is considered by many as vulnerable to its constitutionality. An appeal therefore, to the State Council is not excluded to overthrow it, or more likely, to significantly delay the process. We can not rule out even the possibility of parallel operation of old and new channels …

In that sense, Mega Channel is an investment opportunity, when as they say, a new television station would require more than 60 mil. Euros for the first year of operation with an expectation of recovery of the advertising market, of not more than 10-15 mil. Euros by the end of the first fiscal year.

For all the above, the conflict between shareholders is likely to conceal a power game with the dual purpose of the three to become two (many believe Mr. Stavros Psycharis is a weak link) and to settle reasonable demands from Mr. Fotis Bobolas against the first shareholder Mr. B. Vardinogiannis (due to the ownership of the production company) and also exhaust all the time until the invitation to tender for licenses.

However, since no sane person would like to see such a large company sink, it would be wise to reach any settlement outside any personal or political feasibility. And this should happen as soon as possible …

Greek article Link: Rizopoulospost

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