Illum newspaper is 100% owned by MediaToday; Steward had wanted to buy the company

Following reports on social media that appear to be based on leaks from the Vitals inquiry, MediaToday has issued the following statement:

In 2011, 13 years ago, MediaToday Co. Ltd, the publisher of MaltaToday and Illum, had taken the commercial decision to pass on the title of the newspaper Illum to the company Innovate Business Consulting represented by Jonathan Cardona and Louis Cardona for an 18-month period. MediaToday retained the operations and the editorial functions of Illum.

MediaToday wanted Illum not to remain a financial burden and for Innovate Business Consulting to invest in the title.

After this agreement, Innovate Business Consulting appears to have made another agreement, independent of MediaToday, with other companies, including a company in the printing sector and a company that imports paper and printing machines.

One of these companies belonged to Keith Schembri, who had a 25% share in this agreement made by Innovate Business Consulting. This happened 13 years ago in 2011 when none of these companies or individuals involved remotely had a political posting or connection with one party or another.

This commercial arrangement ended because of disagreement between the investors and MediaToday and the newspaper title passed back to MediaToday.

At no point in 2011 or afterwards was there any payment or transaction between the parties.

Years later, in 2021, there was also an attempt by the owners of Steward Health Care, through their chief executive Armin Ernst, to buy out MediaToday Co. Ltd. MediaToday chose not to sell. It has to be noted that over the past years and from the start of the Vitals and Steward saga, the editorial position adopted by the newspapers belonging to MediaToday have been very critical of the government deal with Vitals and Steward.

Last year, Steward sued MediaToday for libel in the Spanish court in Madrid over reports that appeared in MaltaToday and asked for thousands of euros in damages. This case is ongoing.