Dozhd TV investor plans to merge three media outlets into media holding, bring to IPO

The Dozhd (Rain) TV channel, Slon.ru portal and Bolshoi Gorod (Big City) magazine are to merge into a media holding and will hold an IPO on the Moscow stock exchange soon, investor of the three media outlets Alexander Vinokurov told Interfax.

The Dozhd (Rain) TV channel, Slon.ru portal and Bolshoi Gorod (Big City) magazine are to merge into a media holding and will hold an IPO on the Moscow stock exchange soon, investor of the three media outlets Alexander Vinokurov told Interfax.

"We plan to merge the assets into one media holding and have the IPO at the Moscow stock exchange soon," Vinokurov said.

The IPO will be 300 million to 700 million rubles ($20 million), Vinokurov said. The investor did not specify what share will be put up for sale having said he "was not ready to assess the cost of the company for now."

"Investment bankers will advise this and investors will decide," he said.

The plans to hold the IPO were discussed with the Moscow stock exchange but "this was long ago," Vinokurov said. "Is it necessary to do this [to discuss with the stock exchange]? The stock exchange is interested in having as many good issuers as possible as well," he said.

On January 26 Dozhd held a poll of viewers asking whether Leningrad (presently St. Petersburg) residents could have been saved had the city surrendered to the German troops. This survey has been widely criticized by politicians, public figures, World War II veterans and Russian cable TV operators. After this many major communications operators stopped broadcasting Dozhd.

After Trikolor TV ceased Dozhd broadcasts on its cable networks, Dozhd executives said that they had around 15-20 percent of their audience left and that without financial support of viewers the channel would not last over a month.

In late March Dozhd held a marathon to collect funds for broadcasts and within a week the channel managed to gather around 40 million rubles ($1,1 million), thus having extended its existence for almost two months.

In March the Krasny Oktyabr (Red October) company notified Dozhd it would not extend lease agreement with the TV channel without specifying any reasons. The lease agreement ends on June 20.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on April 17 following hotline that he would try to spare Dozhd from excessive attention of supervisory bodies.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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