Aquent Opens New Office in Warsaw Poland

Aquent, the world's largest marketing and creative services firm specializing in the placement of marketing, creative, production and IT professionals, announces the opening of a new office location in Warsaw, Poland, further expanding its network of established business centres across Europe.

Aquent has 70 offices globally, in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America providing world-class corporations with staffing solutions to meet their marketing and creative needs. With access to the world's largest pool of talented and experienced marketing and creative professionals, Aquent provides staff specializing in chosen fields.

"Warsaw is a key market for us in our drive to be the number one supplier of Marketing and Creative talent to Central and Eastern Europe," said Stefan Ciecierski, Aquent's European Managing Director. "We have seen a lot of opportunity through our Prague office over the last few years and Warsaw is the latest in a number of new openings, including Hamburg, which opened in April."

"We have seen very rapid growth in our sector right across the region and we are working from Frankfurt to Kiev and Moscow to Zurich," commented Claudia Wulf, Aquent's Regional Manager Central and Eastern Europe (based in the company's Munich office). "We are very confident of our future in Warsaw."

Izabela Dominko, Aquent Area Manager, Poland commented, "Aquent is not only an innovative company in recruitment and marketing, but it really does have a great global network and the company moves people all over the world everyday."

About Aquent

For 20 years Aquent has led the way in transforming how companies find and utilize marketing and creative talent to execute their brand strategies. Aquent's pioneering approach to staffing and services has helped thousands of companies -- including two-thirds of the Fortune 500 and 90 of the Fortune 100 -- build their internal marketing and communications capabilities. Over the course of a year, we place over 11,000 Aquent talent at more than 3,000 companies. Aquent, www.aquent.com, is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company has European headquarters in London, UK, and Asia Pacific headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

Source: www.prnewswire.co.uk

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Austrian investment company VCP looking to invest in Hungary, Poland - senior partner

Austrian investment company Vienna Capital Partners (VCP) is looking into possible investments in Hungary and Poland backed by a war chest of about EUR 500 mln, Senior Partner Heinrich Pecina told Interfax on Wednesday.
"Currently, we have somewhere about EUR 500 mln which could be invested… [and] we are constantly seeking new investment targets - right now, for example, in Hungary and Poland among others," Pecina said on the sidelines of a Wednesday press conference in Budapest.

VCP is likely to divest from its holding in Hungarian chemical firm BorsodChem (BC) by the end of October, as the company has recently signed an option agreement with UK private equity fund Permira. VCP stands to cash in HUF 53.3 bln (EUR 193 mln) from its BC stake, but will hold on to its minority shareholding in petrochemical firm TVK. At the same time, Pecina said he is looking to invest in other industries in Hungary as well.

"Right now we are looking at a target that is completely different from the chemicals sector,” he said. “I also see great potential in the tourism and wine industry, for example, not just in Hungary but also in Romania and Bulgaria.”

He noted, though, that finding the right target is very difficult and that just one out of about every 50 planned acquisitions actually results in a closed deal.

At the same time, VCP is also looking into Poland as an investment target, after having divested recently from its two companies there.

"Poland is a very large and attractive market with great potential,” Pecina said. “It is well-situated, with one giant, Germany, to the west, another in Russia to the east and Scandinavia to the north. It is a huge market, with attractive potential especially in the transport, logistics and infrastructure sectors.”

VCP previously held stakes in Polish energy firm Polski Gaz and logistics company Cemet, while it currently has investments in Austria, Serbia and Croatia in addition to Hungary.

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Minerva Powers IPTV In Poland

Minerva Networks iTVManager middleware has been chosen by Multimedia Polska (MMP) to power a new deployment of IP television.

Services will be offered in four cities throughout Poland including Kutno, Mielec, Brzesko and Debica.

Multimedia Polska is the largest operator to have introduced the triple play for subscribers in this region, both on its cable and now public switched telephone (PSTN) networks. This deployment will extend triple play services beyond analog cable to the company’s telecommunications subscribers reaching a combined total of 370,000 homes.

The iTVManager Client Module will provide MMP access to a variety of video services including Time Shift Television (TSTV) and High Definition Television (HDTV). In addition, Minerva’s platform supports MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) compression technology and allows operators to capture new revenue streams from targeted advertisements and converged communication services in a highly secure environment.

“We are excited to be working with the leading open platform middleware vendor in the IPTV space and to be offering our PSTN customers long awaited video services. MMP is on the forefront of triple play technologies and with Minerva’s robust, proven and flexible platform we will continue to offer the newest and most innovative features to our growing base of subscribers,” said Bartek Kasinski, Director of Strategy and Development, Multimedia Polska.

“Multimedia Polska is on the cutting edge of television services and Minerva is proud to be partnered with the leading telecom and cable provider throughout Poland,” stated Justin Holloway Vice President of International Sales. “By selecting a truly open and customizable platform, Multimedia Polska will revolutionize the way in which their customers buy and experience both television and multimedia services.”

In addition to Minerva, other hardware and software components make up the MMP IPTV delivery solution, including Scientific Atlanta’s video encoders, Tilgin’s set-top boxes and Latens content protection software.

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Gamble on Casino on cards

TESCO is mulling an 800 million (£554m) bid for the Polish retailing business of its French rival Casino, according to weekend reports.

France's No 2 supermarket group is looking to sell 2 billion of international assets by the end of next year to cut debt and is known to be seeking to sell its Polish operations.

France's biggest supermarket group, Carrefour, and Tesco are both looking at parts of Casino's business and are most interested in the Polish market.

Tesco is already the market leader in Poland with a 4 per cent market share and Carrefour has a smaller position.


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Poland's President Names Twin Brother PM

The president of Poland appointed his identical twin as prime minister Monday, putting the country's most powerful jobs in the hands of 57-year-olds with virtually the same round faces, silver crops of hair and conservative outlooks.

President Lech Kaczynski formally appointed his brother Jaroslaw, a lawyer, member of parliament and chairman of the governing Law and Justice party, during an evening ceremony in an opulent hall of chandeliers and marble columns at the presidential palace. As they shook hands, the two were hard to tell apart, except for Lech's black suit and his brother's gray one.

"I wish the new prime minister designate, chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, luck in forming his new government," the president said.

The brothers are former activists in the Solidarity movement that helped topple communist rule in 1989-90. Both ran on a pledge to fight the cronyism that has since flourished, a message Jaroslaw stressed during brief remarks at the presidential palace.

"The work of the Cabinet that I hope will be formed within the next few days will concentrate on everything aiming to fix the state," said Jaroslaw, who must still face a confidence vote in parliament. "This goal is in essence our one goal. Poland needs fixing, needs deep rebuilding."

His critics say Jaroslaw is obsessed with his conviction that former communists still lurk in all corners of the public administration and private business.

Whatever their opinion of his politics, Poles generally consider Jaroslaw to have been the strategist behind both men's careers.

"Jaroslaw Kaczynski was always someone behind the screen, basically making plans," said Jacek Kucharczyk, an analyst with the Institute of Public Affairs. "And his brother was implementing them ... The big change we are experiencing now is that Jaroslaw is coming into the spotlight."

Before his brother took the presidency, Jaroslaw, the elder by 45 minutes, often spoke for both, beginning sentences with, "My brother and I ... ."

The image of Jaroslaw dominating the duo was reinforced by Lech's remark to his brother right after winning the presidency: "Mr. Chairman: mission accomplished!"

As prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski will run the government's day-to-day affairs and try to get laws through parliament. As president, his twin has a more ceremonial role but also wields significant powers, including the right to veto legislation and approve military missions such as Poland's deployment in Iraq.

The president warmly thanked outgoing Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, who officially

stepped down earlier Monday, for his hard work in "rebuilding the state."

Marcinkiewicz resigned amid reports of disagreements over economic policy between him and Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

The new prime minister now has 14 days to form his Cabinet, and then another two weeks to win the confidence vote.

As leader of the socially conservative party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski was in line to become prime minister after Law and Justice won parliamentary elections last fall. But he vowed not to assume the role to spare Poles the confusion of identical twins in the country's two highest posts. And according to a survey published Monday in the daily Dziennik, Poles remain skeptical about such a setup.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed think the Kaczynskis should not hold both offices, according to the poll conducted by the TNS OBOP institute. The poll questioned 1,000 people on June 8, and gave a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The twins _ who happen to be Geminis _ first won fame as child actors in the 1962 hit film "The Two Who Stole The Moon." Though their show-business careers stopped there, they became politically active when they joined the anti-communist opposition in the 1970s.

The unmarried prime minister still lives with their widowed mother, while the president is married and has a daughter and granddaughter.


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