«Polish newspaper publisher Agora SA and a fund backed by billionaire George Soros agreed to buy the country’s second-largest radio station, thwarting efforts by pro-government groups to strengthen their grip on the media.
Ruling populist parties throughout eastern Europe have turned public media into propaganda machines, while piling pressure on privately-held broadcasters who refuse to toe the party line, such as Agora. Hedge-fund guru Soros, who’s an advocate of liberal democracy, has been vilified as formerly communist nations rebel against the European Union’s values 30 years after the Berlin Wall collapsed.
Agora, whose assets include Gazeta Wyborcza daily, a talk radio station as well as a movie theater business, signed a preliminary deal to purchase 40 percent of Eurozet sp. z o.o. for 130.8 million zloty ($34 million) from Prague-based Czech Media Invest AS, the Polish company said in a regulatory statement. SFS Ventures, a vehicle that includes a Soros-backed fund, will buy the rest.»