Ben Flanagan | December 5, 2012
Naguib Sawiris has sold his Egyptian TV-news station ONTV to the filmmaker Tarak Ben Ammar.
“Ben Ammar’s Italian company Prima TV will acquire Naguib Sawiris’ interests in ONTV,” Mr Ben Ammar said in a statement
The statement added that Mr Ben Ammar’s ambition was to “create the Arab world’s leading private, independent entertainment and current affairs network dedicated to freedom of expression, speech and liberty.”
Mr Sawiris confirmed the deal when contacted by The National. Neither party disclosed the value of the acquisition.
Mr Ben Ammar already owns the North African network Nessma TV, alongside partners Mediaset and the Karoui Brothers, but this is the first time he has invested directly in the Egyptian market.
“ONTV will continue to be run out of its Cairo head office as an independent news channel with no affiliation to any political party and with its management exercising complete editorial independence,” the statement said.
“ONTV will benefit from the new non-Egyptian ownership that has no connection or ties to any political group in Egypt and is committed entirely to ensuring impartiality and respecting the diversity of views in the country,” it added.