Pluralis, a Dutch-based investor in media companies that provide independent, quality reporting in countries in Europe where media pluralism is at risk, has announced that it has raised €50m in committed capital.
Pluralis was founded in 2021 by a group of prestigious European media companies, democracy-supporting foundations and impact investors to invest in independent media companies and help them build stronger businesses so they can maintain their editorial independence.
Harlan Mandel, CEO of Media Development Investment Fund, which manages Pluralis, made the announcement to the Financing Media Freedom meeting in Brussels attended by the US Ambassador to the EU, Mark Gitenstein, and the European Commission’s Vice-President Vera Jourova.
“I am delighted to announce that Pluralis has raised €50 million in committed capital to invest in media companies that are vital to plurality of news and information in Europe,” said Mr Mandel. “Pluralis has already made three investments in important media companies in Central and South-East Europe, but much remains to be done. We are now ready to take the Pluralis model to more media companies in more countries where media pluralism and informed democratic debate are under threat.”
To date, Pluralis has invested approximately €30 million in three companies: Petit Press, Slovakia’s second largest publishing house; Gremi, publisher of the opinion-leading Rzeczpospolita and a range of political, business and other websites in Poland; and Telegram, a rapidly growing digital news company in Croatia.
Pluralis is founded on a model of blended financial ownership, with investors ranging from grant-making foundations to leading European media houses.
“The Pluralis blended finance approach means that investee companies benefit from a highly diverse ownership structure, preventing any perception of bias or external influence, which is crucial for maintaining their reputation for integrity and impartiality,” said Mr Mandel. “Moreover, investee companies are able to draw on a deep well of strategic and technical knowledge from Pluralis investors, helping them to optimize the investment and take advantage of emerging opportunities.”
Grounding each Pluralis investment is the belief that independent and plural media contribute to informed citizenship, which is essential for the functioning of both democracy and the economy. As the backbone of European democracy, media contribute to education, cultural development, inclusiveness of society, protection of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and access to information. Its investment framework is explicitly non-partisan: Pluralis invests in independent media companies practicing responsible high-quality journalism, regardless of editorial orientation.
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About Pluralis B.V.
Pluralis B.V. is a Dutch limited liability company duly organised under the laws of the Netherlands with its seat in Amsterdam. The company’s shareholders, investors and partners are a group of prestigious European media companies, democracy-supporting foundations and impact investors, including: King Baudouin Foundation, Tinius Trust, Oak Foundation, Mediahuis, ERSTE Foundation, Limelight Foundation, Media Development Investment Fund and Soros Economic Development Fund, as well as other impact investors and family offices.
Media Development Investment Fund, a not-for-profit investment fund based in New York, United States, manages Pluralis. MDIF provides debt and equity financing supported by strategic advice to independent media companies in countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. With $163 million assets under management, since 1996 MDIF has invested $311 million in 150 independent media businesses in 47 countries. Its investments help independent media around the world provide the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies.