On April 8, the District Court in Warsaw, XVII Division – Court of Competition and Consumer Protection suspended, at the request of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the execution of the decision of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) approving the concentration consisting in taking control of Polska Press by PKN Orlen. As emphasized by the court, the decision is not open to appeal.
“The decision means nothing really”
The president of Orlen was asked on Radio Maryja about Polska Press in the context of court decisions regarding the company, including the latter not to enter changes in the management board to the National Court Register.
“The decision means nothing really. Polska Press works normally. We exercise our rights from shares, we have the opinions of international law firms and financial advisors in this regard. In general, the right to take over, which has generally already been consumed, cannot be limited. which the lawyers are puzzling over and analyzing this verdict, and no one can understand too much what is really going on “- emphasized the president of PKN Orlen.
Obajtek noted that after the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, PKN Orlen legally took control of Polska Press.
“Generally, all the bodies of this company have been legally appointed and function. All decisions, although not entered in the National Court Register, are legal and cannot be challenged in any way. Therefore, the judgment itself is a strange judgment for us, but we normally exercise rights from shares. If I did not exercise such rights from shares, I would later be responsible for acting to the detriment of the company in this respect, “Obajtek said.
The President of PKN Orlen emphasized that Polska Press functions normally and has good financial parameters. He added that the company “has been integrated into the entire chain of the concern”.
The president of Polska Press resigned two months ago
The acquisition of Polska Press was announced by PKN Orlen at the beginning of December last year. In February, the transaction was approved by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The announcement then stated that “in the case of transactions between Orlen and Polska Press, we are dealing with a vertical concentration between entities operating at different levels of press circulation. In practice, this means that the activities of the concentration participants do not coincide”.
At the beginning of March, the current president of the company, Dorota Stanek, passed away. According to our information, he will no longer take up any other job, but will take a pension.
Marcin Dec has been appointed president Polska Press Groups in mid-April. – The decision of the Extraordinary General Meeting will enable acceleration of the integration process of Polska Press within the Orlen Group. Marcin Dec will be the president until the composition of the management board of Polska Press is formed, the publisher said in a statement. The new president also remains the CEO of another Orlen subsidiary – Sigma Bis media house.
Now PKN Orlen announced the recruitment procedure for the new president of Polska Press. Requirements from candidates include, inter alia, higher education and a minimum of 5 years of professional experience (including at least three years in managerial, independent or self-employed positions). The new owner of Polska Press expects the candidates to have experience in managing teams, able to work under time pressure and in crisis situations, as well as having highly developed interpersonal, organizational and ethical skills.
However, employees and associates of parliamentary and senatorial offices, employees and members of political party authorities and people from trade unions in the Orlen capital group are excluded from the competition.
Obajtek confirmed that a competition was announced for the president of Polska Press. He denied that the competition was related to the court’s decision not to amend the company’s management board. He said that after the takeover of Polska Press by PKN Orlen, the current president resigned and a person acting as president was appointed from the supervisory board of the company.
As Onet reported, the changes that have taken place in the management board of Polska Press since the beginning of March have not been entered into the National Court Register, despite the submission of relevant applications by Orlen. – On April 13, 2021, the company filed another request to remove Paweł Fąfara from the management board and to disclose the data of Dorota Kania, a management board member and Marcin Dec, the president of the management board. By order of April 30, 2021, Polska Press was requested to submit a statement by Dorota Kania, a member of the management board, regarding the indication of her address for service, within 7 days from the date of delivery, under pain of returning the application. To this day, no confirmation of receipt – wrote a Warsaw court in a letter sent to Onet.
In April, the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (division of the District Court in Warsaw) withheld the unconditional consent of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection for the purchase of Polska Press by PKN Orlen. This was reported by the office of the Human Rights Defender, who submitted such a request to the court. Onet’s text shows that this decision has an impact on not entering new members into the National Court Register. However, Orlen’s spokeswoman, Joanna Zakrzewska, denied this on Twitter, writing that “the suspension of the registration proceedings is a formal decision and does not in any way prejudge the legitimacy of the application for entry”, and the suspension decision is subject to appeal.
Suspension of the registration procedure is a formal decision and does not in any way prejudge the validity of the application for entry. The suspension order is subject to appeal. The company will decide to bring an appeal after reading the justification
– Joanna Zakrzewska (@RzecznikORLEN) May 13, 2021
Changes in the editorial offices of Polska Press
In the second half of April, the newly created function of editorial director Anna Zapert, formerly associated with Republika Television, took over, and the resignation was submitted by the vice president of the publishing house Dariusz Świąder and a member of the board Magdalena Chudzikiewicz.
At the end of April, Dorota Kania decided to change three editors-in-chief of Polska Press dailies. In “Dziennik” Zachodni “, Marek Twarog was replaced by Grzegorz Gajda, previously associated with TVP3 Katowice and Radio EM. Last Friday, cottage cheese said goodbye to readers. – I walk away with my forehead held high. I have always adhered to the idea of independent journalism – he said.
At the beginning of May from “Dziennik Zachodni” after 33 years of work, Janusz Szymonik decided to leave for many years, deputy editor-in-chief. – I am leaving, because after the takeover by the new owner, the editorial office will no longer be independent – he explained.
In some editorial offices, changes took place after Orlen announced the purchase of the company in December. In mid-January this year. Paweł Siennicki passed away (became the vice-president of the “Polish Airports” State Enterprise), the position of the editor-in-chief of the “Polish Metropolis of Warsaw” Wojciech Rogacin took over from him.
At the beginning of March, Katarzyna Pachelska, deputy head of the newsroom, said goodbye to the editorial office of Dziennik Zachodni. The impulse for this departure was the recent ownership change and the related uncertainty about the professional future. Earlier they said goodbye to the editorial office: long-time secretary Anna Ładuniuk and political journalist Agata Pustułka. Both journalists worked in the Silesian media for almost three decades.
Polska Press publishes 20 regional dailies
The Polska Press Group’s press portfolio includes over 20 regional dailies (“Dziennik Bałtycki”, “Dziennik Łódzki”, “Dziennik Zachodni”, “Gazeta Krakowska”, Głos Wielkopolski “,” Kurier Lubelski “,” Polska Metropolia Warszawska “),” Express Ilustrowany ” “,” Gazeta Krakowska “,” Dziennik Polski “,” Gazeta Lubuska “,” Gazeta Pomorska “,” Kurier Poranny “,” Gazeta Współczesna “,” Nowa Trybuna Opolska “,” Echo Dnia “,” Gazeta Codzienna Nowiny “,” Głos Dziennik Pomorza “,” Express Bydgoski “and” Nowości Toruńskie “), as well as almost 150 local weeklies (including” Nasza Historia “,” Moto Salon “,” Moto Salon Classic “,” Strefa Biznesu “,” Strefa Agro ”) and the free newspaper Naszemiasto.pl.
The company also publishes about 500 websites, mainly Naszemiasto.pl and portals of individual press titles.
In 2019, the Polska Press capital group recorded a decrease in sales revenues by 6.5%. to PLN 398.44 million and net profit from PLN 9.64 to 8.59 million. Revenues from newspaper sales decreased by 8.9%, advertising revenues – by 4.9%, and the number of employees was 2,126.