Foreigners Interested in Largest Slovenian Publisher

Foreigners Interested in Largest Slovenian Publisher

Foreigners are interested in Mladinska knjiga, the chair of Slovenia's largest publishing house, Milan Matos, told the daily Delo on Saturday, 25 February but refused to confirm or deny whether the bidder could be Italy's Mondadori.

Mladinska knjiga did expect to get offers, chiefly because "it is not successful only on the Slovenian market but also abroad", stressed Matos.

According to the data from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Mladinska knjiga controls 44% of the domestic publishing market, which is worth around EUR 100m annually. The second largest publisher is DZS with 21%.

Matos said it would be difficult to say what kind of reactions a decision to sell Mladinska knjiga would be met with, but he is aware that "not everyone would be trilled" about it. The publisher celebrated its 60th anniversary last year.

He stressed, however, that the markets on which his company is present are already being entered by large, chiefly German and Austrian, publishers. Moreover, the largest Finnish publisher WSOY is entering the magazine market through Adria Holding.

Matos is worried about a potential rise in the VAT for books as planned in the government-sponsored reforms: "This would hit publishing hard," he said, adding that books should not be mixed with just any other product.
"The Chinese can make our shoes, shirts can be made in Pakistan, but we ourselves are responsible for books," said Matos, highlighting that a great majority of countries have a special [reduced] VAT for books.