Hungary: Publisher of suspended opposition newspaper sold

Markets Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file picture a man  shows the last printed edition of Nepszabadsag during a demonstration organized to express solidarity with Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary. Earlier in the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016  by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity.  (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP.File )

    FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file picture a man shows the last printed edition of Nepszabadsag during a demonstration organized to express solidarity with Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary. Earlier in the day the publishing ... company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016 by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP.File ) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 8 2016 file picture a  newsstand including Saturday papers with Nepszabadsag daily is pictured in Budapest, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Headline of Nepszabadsag reads: "Orban not bothered by helicoptering". It refers to a scandal uncovered by Nepszabadsag about the extravagant travel habits of a top minister in the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.  A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016  by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity. (AP Photo/Andras Nagy,file)

    FILE - In this Oct. 8 2016 file picture a newsstand including Saturday papers with Nepszabadsag daily is pictured in Budapest, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Headline of Nepszabadsag reads: "Orban not bothered by helicoptering". It refers to a scandal ... uncovered by Nepszabadsag about the extravagant travel habits of a top minister in the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016 by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity. (AP Photo/Andras Nagy,file) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file picture demonstrators gather in front of the Parliament building to show their solidarity with the Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Earlier the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016  by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity.  (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP,file )

    FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file picture demonstrators gather in front of the Parliament building to show their solidarity with the Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Earlier the day the publishing company Mediaworks ... suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago. The deal, announced Tuesday Oct. 25, 2016 by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP,file ) (The Associated Press)

A company linked to an ally of Hungary's prime minister says it has bought the company that publishes the main opposition newspaper, which suspended publication weeks ago.

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The deal, announced Tuesday by the Budapest Stock Exchange, seems to confirm concerns that the sale of Mediaworks, publisher of the leftist Nepszabadsag and many other newspapers and magazines, will further increase government influence over Hungarian media and diminish press diversity.

The Opimus Group said it bought 100 percent of the shares of Mediaworks Hungary through its fully-owned Opimus Press subsidiary at an undisclosed price.

Opimus has been linked to Lorinc Meszaros, a former gas fitter whose businesses greatly expanded with the help of large state contracts. He has attributed his success partly to his friendship with Prime Minister Viktor Orban.