Russia’s Gazprom Media Acquires ProfMedia Group
MOSCOW – Gazprom Media, the media wing of the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, is buying the group ProfMedia from Vladimir Potanin’s Interros.
Interros and Gazprom Media have reached a principal agreement, and the deal is expected to be finalized in early 2014, Interros said without revealing the value of the deal.
“In strategic terms, this is a right and timely deal for ProfMedia’s shareholders, assets and the industry in general,” ProfMedia’s president Olga Paskina told The Hollywood Reporter. “The consolidation within the framework of Gazprom Media is opening new advertising and content opportunities thanks to the increase of the portfolio of assets, whose audiences complement each other.”
ProfMedia owns the television channels TV3, 2x2 and Pyatnitsa, the film production company Central Partnership and several FM radio stations.
Meanwhile, ProfMedia’s online assets, including a minority share in the online video service ivi.ru, and Cinema Park, Russia’s largest cinema chain, were excluded from the deal.
“Cinema Park has been singled out as a separate business with its own development strategy,” a spokesperson for Interros told THR. “There are no plans to sell it.”
Among Gazprom Media’s assets are TV networks NTV and TNT, the satellite company NTV Plus, radio stations Echo of Moscow and Comedy Radio, and online video services Rutube and Now.ru.
Earlier this month, there were reports in the Russian media that another major local media group, CTC Media, was looking to buy an entertainment TV channel and considered ProfMedia’s 2x2 and Pyatnitsa. The acquisition of ProfMedia by Gazprom Media put a lid on that option.