Ljubljana, 25 November (STA) - An international call for bids for a 100% stake in Slovenia's leading newspaper firm Delo will be published in dailies Delo and Financial Times next Tuesday, Delo announced on Thursday.
Non-binding bids will be accepted until the end of January 2011, while the sale is expected to be concluded in April or before the summer at the latest.
Delo chairman Jurij Giacomelli said he was acquainted with the plan of sale. He disagrees with assessments that interest will be poor, pointing out that Delo is the leading firm in the sector with and important market share.
The owner of Delo, Pivovarna Lasko, already announced in October it would put the publisher up for sale in late November, keeping with its strategic plan to withdraw from the media sector and focus on its core business, which is the production and sale of beverages.
Lasko and its subsidiaries Radenska and Firma Del own 100% of Delo stock. The company could be seen as having in effect been forced into the sale by banks, which have been pushing it to pay down its huge debt burden.
Lasko published a takeover bid for Delo in early 2007 after having acquired a significant stake before. The takeover bid valued Delo at EUR 90m.
Delo is the leading newspaper firm in the country. It publishes the flagship daily Delo as well as the no. 1 tabloid Slovenske novice, Sunday magazine Nedelo and cultural fortnightly Pogledi.
In 2009 it made a net loss of EUR 11.5m on sales that dropped by a tenth to EUR 53.7m.