Czech PM's former firm buys Bauer Media Group's local publisher

PRAGUE, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Czech media group Mafra, part of the business empire founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, has agreed to buy Bauer Media Group’s local publishing business, the companies said on Tuesday.

Mafra, which owns two national newspapers and radio stations, will take over the German group’s Czech and Slovak businesses, comprising around 30 titles, including Esquire, Cosmopolitan and other lifestyle and entertainment magazines.

Bauer Media’s Czech publisher sold 49 million magazines in 2017 and had readership of 3.4 million. Mafra publications reach a readership of 2.4 million while 3.4 million people a week visit its online publications.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the transaction, which still awaits regulatory approval.

Parent company Agrofert is the Czech Republic’s largest private employer comprising firms in food, agriculture, chemicals and media. It was owned by Babis until last year, when he put it into a trust fund to meet new conflict of interest laws. (Reporting by Jason Hovet Editing by Keith Weir)