Czech billionaire eyes Poland
One of the Czech Republic’s wealthiest individuals, Zdenek Bakala, has parted ways with his business partners and embarked on a new path, which will see him focus assets in the CEE region in general, and on Poland in particular, the Polish media reported in May 2014.
“In my new business life in which I will operate under the new brand BM Management, I bet on investments in Central and Eastern Europe,” Zdenek Bakala said, as quoted by the Polish business daily Puls Biznesu. “I find Poland the most interesting country in the region, mainly due to the economic growth, the size of the market, corporate order, and – which not all will agree with – Poles’ refined approach to privatization. The Czechs and the Hungarians placed their bets on rapid privatizations, whereas Poles, with a higher or lower degree of awareness, took their time, first developed the Warsaw stock exchange, and only then engaged in serious privatization transactions.
Although Bakala does not wish to disclose any specific companies that he might be targeting already in Poland, he does mention the FMCG and the industrial sectors as segments where he would ideally find acquisition targets.
Up until April 2014 Zdenek Bakala remained a 50-percent shareholder in one of the Czech Republic’s foremost holdings operating under the common brand of BXR, which invested in a wide range of businesses across various sectors. In April the group announced that it would reorganize. Bakala left the group, taking with him a number of assets: the Advanced World Transport group (railway transport), real estate business with presence in the Czech Republic, as well as the Warsaw- and Prague-based offices of BXR Partners (private equity). Bakala continues to hold a stake in the large media group Economia (it issues Hospodarske Noviny, among others) and an impressive number of luxurious goods brands such as Zegna, Armani.