Week 42: Dire straits continue at Realitatea-Cațavencu

The resignations from the Realitatea-Cațavencu group continue with one of the key managers, while a Romanian entrepreneur sold an epayment platform to Naspers. A Romanian cable company started an italian operation, and two advertising adgencies have merged. iPhone 4 is to be available for Vodafone customers too, and Kanal D might be subject of a transaction between Dogan and an international group.

Mihnea Vasiliu, a former executive director of the Realitatea-Cațavencu group, whose financial situation is bad, has left R-C to become the general manager of Ringier România, Paginademedia.ro announced. Vasiliu is to be the first General Manager of Ringier, which has been operating in Romania since 1992. Realitatea TV lost some other of its employees during the last weeks. One of them is the DOP of the News Department, wrote AdelinPetrisor.ro. In an interview with Victor Ciutacu, on Antena 3, Realitatea Cațavencu’s owner, Sorin Ovidiu Vîntu, said the group is still struggling with financial difficulties, but lately it achieved break even. According to Vîntu, R-C there are only some old debts that create difficulties. The employees cannot be guaranteed a fixed day for the salaries payment, but they were guaranteed the wages would be paid within the calendar month. Meanwhlie, Ziarul financiar revealed Vîntu has been put on trial for accusations related to the famous crash of an investment fund, FNI, in 2000.

Allegro/Naspers has acquired a majority stake in GECAD ePayment, according to a post on Radu Georgescu’s blog. Radu Georgescu, the entrepreneur behing GECAD ePayment, is well-known for having created and sold to Microsoft RAV Antivirus.

RCS-RDS, one of the main internet, cable & DTH providers in Romania, will expand its operations in Italy, wrote Ziarul financiar. According to RCS-RDS estimates, there are around 1 million Romanians working in Italy. The company, which started in Romania and is one of the main three players in the TV carrying/internet market, has been also expanding in other foreign markets, such as Hungary and Serbia.

Scala JWT and Cohn & Jansen are to merge into Cohn&Jansen JWT, according to Ziarul financiar. The new company will have 50 employees and a turnover of 1,8 million euros.

iPhone 4 will also be distributed by Vodafone in Romania, after being available only to Orange customers, VictorKapra.ro wrote. Vodafone hasn’t revealed the date starting with which it will deliver iPhone, while Orange, the other big player on the mobile market, has it in its offer since 24 September.

News Corp, RTL and Time-Warner are interested in Kanal D, a TV station owned by the Turkish group Dogan and Ringier (75%-25%), according to Reuters and other sources quoted by HotNews.ro. Kanal D schedules Turkish soap operas and international reality shows and is usually on the 4th-5th position in the Romanian TV average montly ratings top.

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