Final Word from Thursday, November 14, 2013

In one of his seemingly improvised remarks, Andrej Babiš told the New York Times that he is considering taking Mafra and his future media acquisitions public and retaining only a minority stake. Allow us to make the well-considered remark that this is complete nonsense. Why would Babiš overpay for media properties in a falling market, go to the expense and hassle of getting them into presentable shape, list them on a stock exchange at a loss, and in the process give up the one valuable thing they offer - editorial control? Such irrational behavior is not what made Babiš the CR's second- or third-richest man. However, deliberate obfuscation of this type was in fact one of the factors that led to his meteoric rise in Czech politics. He routinely makes bold political statements one day, only to backtrack the next. Keep this in mind when (or if) Babiš buys all or part of Jaromír Soukup's media empire. It will make him by far the most powerful person in the Czech media, but he'll trivialize it by saying it's part of his previously announced IPO plans. [Czech Repubic publishing MFD LN Médea TV Barrandov]

Glossary of difficult words

obfuscation - the act or state of rendering something obscure, unclear or unintelligible;

improvised - impromptu, unrehearsed;

to take a company public - to sell a company's shares on a stock exchange;

deliberate - done consciously and intentionally;

meteoric - very rapid;

to backtrack - to reverse one's previous action or opinion;

to trivialize - to make something seem less important, significant or complex than it really is;

IPO - Initial Public Offering of shares on a stock market.

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