FRANCE / Euronews: Naguib Sawiris new majority shareholder

euronews_logoThe European 24-hour news channel, Euronews, created in 1993 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), should see its capital increase with the arrival of a private shareholder. On February 24th the decision was approved by the Supervisory Board. Exclusive negotiations about an injection of capital from one of Naguib Sawiris’ companies had been entrusted to Euronews chairman Michael Peters. Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire, is expected to invest €35 million and would thus become the channel’s majority shareholder with 53% of the capital. The negotiations will also focus on new governance. It is expected that the public shareholders, especially the 21 public channels and the three local authorities (Greater Lyon, the Rhone département and the Région Rhone-Alpes), would have the right of veto to prevent any disruption of the editorial line. During an interview with several European media, Naguib Sawiris promised that Euronews would “remain neutral” the channel “is seen everywhere as neutral – nothing will change. Protection of content will remain strong and there will be no interference from shareholders.” Naguib Sawiris is the CEO of Orascom TMT (Telecom Media and Technology), present in mobile telephony, cable, media and technology in Egypt, Lebanon, North Korea, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He is notably the owner of two Egyptian news channels and majority shareholder in an Egyptian newspaper.

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