When the Luxembourg-based International Trading and Investments Holdings SA Luxembourg took over a Polish enterprise, ITI, in 1990, it focused on the importation in the Polish market of such foreign brands as an advertising agency, snack manufacturer, and a distributor of films and video films. The Group is registered in Luxembourg and is subject to the Luxembourgian law, and the management’s structure differs from the Polish norm, having only one managing board of directors. TVN television, the group’s most valuable asset, was established in October 1997, and is estimated to make up 75 to 80 per cent of the whole group in value terms. However, ITI owns only 49 per cent of TVN. The other 51 per cent of the shares are beyond ITI’s control, since it is the 3W company, established by ITI founders, that has the largest impact on the portfolio. So the ownership structure of TVN is somewhat complicated, as are the financial results of the station. Specialists emphasise that even though ITI owns very valuable assets, estimated to total 500 million dollars, its complicated and non-transparent holding structure (according to Polish bank BGŻ’s report, only 13 out of 35 companies run operational activities) deters investors from purchasing ITI shares at a too high price.
If at first you don’t succeed
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Dr Piotr Andrzejewski is head of the postgraduate Public Relations programme at the University of Economics in Poznan. He also writes for the weekly national Wprost.