A former owner of the Basler Zeitung has regained control of the newspaper’s parent company in the latest reshuffle at the helm.
Ticino financier Titto Tettamanti announced on Wednesday he had bought 100 per cent of Basler Zeitung Media’s shares from Rahel Blocher, the daughter of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party strongman and billionaire Christoph Blocher.
The company has now changed hands for the fourth time in a short period of time. Rahel Blocher had acted as an intermediary just this week, buying the shares from Moritz Suter, who had been in charge for the past year.
Suter had originally bought the company in November 2010 from Tettamanti, who together with Basel lawyer Martin Wagner had bought the company’s shares in a 75 and 25 per cent split, in February 2010 from the Hagemann family.
Tettamanti used the newly created MedienVielfalt holding company to acquire the shares. He told a press conference that Blocher was not a shareholder in the holding company. "We've talked but arrived at the conclusion that he should not be involved because he is politically active."
Tettamanti defended the decision to keep Blocher's biographer Markus Somm as editor-in-chief, saying: "He is a good journalist."
Radical Party parliamentarian Filippo Leutenegger, who has had long-standing business connections with Blocher, has been named the chairman of the company.
Also appointed to the board of directors was Adriana Ospel-Bodmer, the wife of ex-UBS chief executive Marcel Ospel, who fronted a SFr70 million ($74 million) loan from Blocher to Suter to buy the company back in 2010.
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