A Televised Hide and Seek

publicaMoldova’s Publika TV station specifies on its website that it is part of the Romanian media group Realitatea-Catavencu: "Publika TV is an investment of the Realitatea-Catavencu media group, the biggest investment ever made by a Romanian media company outside the country."

The Realitatea group  and the Realitatea TV station in Romania are, in fact, majority owned by the same firm, Bluelink Communicazione (Cyprus) Limited. Bluelink used to be the majority shareholder of Stiri Media Grup, the company that runs Publika TV in Moldova.

In  May 2011, Ioana Vintu, daughter of Romanian oligarch, Sorin Ovidiu Vintu, announced in a press conference that: "Myself and my brother sold all the shares we had in the Realitatea media group. The new owner is Elan Schwartzenberg and from now on my father, Sorin Ovidiu Vintu, is no longer associated with this business. However, Cyprus company records show that the current majority shareholders of Bluelink Communicazione (Cyprus) Limited are Ioana Vintu and Ionut-Codrin Vintu. Records OCCRP has checked show that Vintu's children became majority shareholders in April 2012.

That change is largely unknown to the Romanian public and to the National Audiovisual Council that as of June 2012 listed Schwartzenberg and Dobanda as beneficiary owners of Bluelink.


Reported and Written by Ion Preasca, Mihai Munteanu and Matt Sarnecki