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Claiming CET 21 ownership, Zelezny removes current TV Nova CEO Petr Dvorak

Former TV Nova CEO Vladimir Zelezny, who claims ownership of 60 % of CET-21, the company that holds the TV Nova broadcast license, says he’s removed TV Nova CEO Petr Dvorak from his post.

According to the online news site Novinky, PPF, the company which also claims ownership of CET-21, refuses to comment on the firing.

The move is the latest development in an ongoing battle for ownership of CET-21.

At the end of December, a court ruled that Zelezny was the rightful owner of 60 % of CET-21, but PPF has appealed the ruling, and the decision has not yet taken effect.

PPF says that even if Zelezny is the rightful owner of CET-21, he must transfer his 60 % stake to PPF under the terms of a contract signed in the summer of 2002.

Zelezny’s lawyer Robert Vladyka denies the existence of such a contract.

Vladyka says Zelezny claims a 100 % stake in the TV Nova service company Ceska produkcni 2000, but TV Nova spokesman Daniel Plovajko says Zelezny’s option for the Ceska produkcni stake expired in 2002. Zelezny’s claim is “irrelevant” and “groundless,” says Plovajko.

PPF is reported to have demanded a CZK 1 bn fine from Zelezny this week for violating two contracts signed in 2002, when PPF helped Zelezny in his dispute with Ronald Lauder’s Central European Media Enterprises (CME), once Zelezny’s partner in TV Nova.

Zelezny’s 60 % CET-21 stake was seized due to a CZK 1 bn debt to Lauder. PPF paid the outstanding portion of that debt – CZK 700 mln – in exchange for entry into TV Nova.

(Interfax 8.iii.04)

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