Polish newspaper gets $6 million

Argus Capital Group has committed $6 million to set up Luxembourg-based DD Publishing. Argus Capital Partners Fund I has provided the capital to allow the company to acquire and expand the distribution of a free, home-delivered newspaper published in Poland by DD Media.

The newspaper, Dzien Dobry, which means Good Day, was launched by DD Media in September 2000 and is distributed to 300,000 households in Warsaw every Friday morning, reaching about 47 per cent of the city’s households. DD Media management owns a minority interest in the publishing company.

DD Publishing plans to launch the paper in a number of additional cities in Poland in 2002 to create a national network. Ali Artunkal, managing director of the Argus Capital Group, said: “This is the one large-scale professional home-delivered newspaper of its kind in Poland.”

While Poland’s advertising sector experienced a slowdown in 2001, the newspaper continues to grow within a promising niche market and Artunkal anticipates that DD Publishing will benefit from an eventual upturn in the sector.

Maciej Jankowski, president of DD Media, said: “There is clearly a demand from advertisers for a newspaper that reaches almost half of Warsaw’s households. We hope that demand will increase as the paper grows, and reaches the major sections of Poland’s urban populations with disposable incomes available for spending.”

Argus Capital Group is a division of Pricoa Capital Group, part of the global private equity arm of Prudential Investment Management (PIM), the asset management division of The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Argus Capital Partners I has raised $172 million from international investors and has so far committed around $95.6 million in nine central European businesses including food services, media, printing and telecommunications companies.