Last updated: 5 December, 2012

French-Tunisian businessman to buy Egyptian TV network

French-Tunisian producer and financier Tarak Ben Ammar announced in Milan on Wednesday that he will buy the ONTV Egyptian television network which belongs to Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

The value of the deal was not disclosed but Ben Ammar said it would link North Africa, Egypt and Europe for the cause of freedom of expression.

He was quoted as saying in a statement that he would manage the Egyptian network through his Italian company Prima TV.

Ben Ammar also denied any interest in buying the Italian television station La7 which belongs to Telecom Italia or Mediaset Premium which is part of disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire.

The businessman is a board member of Telecom Italia, which is meeting on Thursday to decide several key issues including the sale of La7.

The board is also expected to decide on an investment offer from Sawiris to whom Ben Ammar said “the door is neither open nor closed”.

Ben Ammar also said he was planning to launch Tunisian channel Nessma in France in 2013 for some seven millions of French people of Arab origin.