Bulgaria's Business Registry Agency has registered 83% of the wide-circulation dailies "Trud" (Labor) and 24 Chasa (24 Hours) as property of Ognyan Donev and Lyubomir Pavlov.
The remaining 17% are owned by the "BG Printmedia" company managed by Pavlov and Hristo Grozev, the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, informs. 53% of the company are still held by the Vienna-based "BG Privatinvest" GmbH, belonging to Grozev and Austrian Karl Habsburg. The other 47% are owned by the manager of Pavlov's publishing business.
Grozev told BNT he is appealing the decision with the court, adding there is a parallel prosecutor's probe in alleged document fraud.
The conflict between the former partners flared about 10 days ago after Grozev accused Pavlov and Donev of illegal corporate takeover of his shares by applying with the Registry to list changes in the ownership of the newspapers. Donev and Pavlov say the changes are aligned accordingly to the investment amount contributed by different partners.
Owners of Bulgarian alcohol producer "Vinprom Peshtera" and of "New Bulgarian Media Group," mother and son, Irena Krasteva and Delyan Peevski, publishers of the dailies "Monitor" and "Telegraph," were also involved in the conflict with Pavlov accusing Grozev of attempting to include them in the business as shareholders.
Grozev firmly denies the accusations.