Owner of 33.3% in Vedomosti newspaper: Too early to talk about purchase of remaining shares

Demyan Kudryavtsev, who has bought a 33.3% stake in Russia's leading daily financial newspaper Vedomosti from the Finnish media holding Sanoma, has not discussed the possibility of buying more stakes from the other co-owners.

Demyan Kudryavtsev, who has bought a 33.3% stake in Russia's leading daily financial newspaper Vedomosti from the Finnish media holding Sanoma, has not discussed the possibility of buying more stakes from the other co-owners.

"No, I haven't discussed this with the partners," Kudryavtsev told Interfax.

Asked whether he is interested in purchasing the rest of the shares currently belonging to Dow Jones & Co and FT Group, Kudryavtsev said, "It is too early to talk about this."

Kudryavtsev declined to disclose the worth of the deal, saying only that he bought the share for his own money. "This is my money from the sale of real estate, stakes in IT companies, and savings. I have money of third-party investors at my disposal, but it hasn't been used so far," he said.

As concerns the newspaper itself, Kudryavtsev said, "Financial performance amid a crisis cannot satisfy anyone."

"The management structure seems reasonable to me, and it's too early to talk about the rest. I am not yet properly familiar with the company," he said.

Sanoma signed a sale and purchase agreement with Ivania Ltd. on Thursday for the company's 33.3% stake in Delovoi Standard Ltd. (Cyprus) owning 100% in Business News Media, the publisher of Vedomosti.

Sanoma estimated that it would book at the closing a non-recurring capital gain of around 8 million euro before currency translation adjustment.

Sanoma also agreed to sell its United Press portfolio of titles to Moscow Times. Kudryavtsev, a former general director of the Kommersant publishing house, is the sole owner of Ivania and Moscow Times, as he himself told Vedomosti.

"These transactions are a result of the broad strategic review announced by Sanoma in October 2013 to redesign its consumer media operations," Sanoma said in a statemet.

The FT Group and Dow Jones own the other 66.6% of Vedomosti on an equal footing. A law that comes into effect on January 1, 2016 limits foreign ownership of Russian media organizations to 20%.

Sanoma reached agreement with Hearst Shkulev Media at the end of 2014 to divest Sanoma Independent Media's 50% stake in Fashion Press, which publishes Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazines in Russia. The government's foreign investment commission has not yet approved the deal.

 

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