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The subsidiary of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Foundation has signed a contract with SQ Invest Kft. for the sale and purchase of a 67.48 percent stake in Libri Group. With this transaction, MCC will move from being an indirect minority shareholder to the 98.41% owner of one of the largest players in the Hungarian publishing market. Libri Group's management will largely remain unchanged.
Libri Group is a significant player in the Hungarian book retail and publishing market. The group's prominent member, Libri Könyvkereskedelmi Ltd., serves millions of customers annually through its nationwide network of 57 bookstores and its online store. Since MCC became a minority shareholder of Libri Group since April 2021, the company has made tremendous progress and has improved both commercially and financially. By increasing its stake to 98.5 percent, MCC intends to continue to add value to the group as a strategic financial investor. The company will remain under the professional guidance of its management team which has decades of experience in the book market, and the owner of the former majority shareholder SQ Invest, Ákos Balogh, will continue to support Libri Group as a member of the Board of Directors.
"I would like to thank all Libri employees for the past 30 years, without them this company would not be where it is today. I am delighted to have sold the company to an investor who is committed to the Hungarian book market. I am not leaving the company but will continue to support Libri as a board member"-Ákos Balogh.
"As Central Europe's leading talent institution and research center, Mathias Corvinus Collegium believes in the Hungarian book market, the power of books and culture, and this move is in line with its wide range of activities. We have had a successful year with Libri Group, and MCC considers the previous acquisition of ownership a good investment in every sense. The most logical step for us was to increase our stake in the company. As a committed and capital-strong owner, we guarantee the future of the Libri in the long term"- Zoltán Szalai, Director General of MCC.
The contract was signed following a series of business negotiations. The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Hungarian Competition Authority, for which the process has already started.
The leaders of Libri Group spoke to Portfolio about the future of the company.