CTC Media to buy DTV Group for $395 mil

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MOSCOW -- CTC Media, Russia's leading independent TV broadcaster, has agreed to buy DTV Group from Modern Times Group, an investor in CTC, for about $395 million.

Moscow-based DTV operates a national free-to-air TV network with 28 stations in larger Russian cities and a number of affiliates. As of February, DTV's signal reached 60% of households nationwide. DTV generated about $40 million in revenue during 2007 with an operating profit of about $4 million. MTG owned DTV since 2001.

"This is a fundamental breakthrough in our strategy to expand our broadcasting footprint and audience," CTC CEO Alexander Rodnyansky said. "DTV is a well-run, profitable and established network that will increase our exposure to the fast-growing Russian TV advertising market."

Rodnyansky said that given DTV's primary focus on a male audience, it "perfectly complements" existing CTC brands like the Domashny channel, which targets female viewers.

Based in Moscow, CTC owns and operates the CTC TV network, carried by more than 350 affiliate stations, including 19 owned-and-operated stations, and the Domashny network, carried by more than 230 affiliate stations, including 13 O&O stations.

CTC hopes to close the transaction by the third quarter, pending regulatory clearance.

Stockholm-based MTG, a publicly traded international entertainment broadcasting group, owns a 40% stake in CTC.
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