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Russia World Studio Head Buys 49 Percent Stake in Company (Report)

The deal will reportedly see Yuri Sapronov swap his stake in RWS owner Sistema Mass Media for just under half of the film studio.

MOSCOW - Yuri Sapronov, general director of Russia’s biggest privately owned film studio Russian World Studio (RWS), has acquired a 49% stake in the company, said a report run by local business daily Kommersant.

According to Kommersant, Sapronov exchanged his 12.5% stake in Sistema Mass Media (SMM), which owns RWS, for a 49% share in the studio.

A spokesperson for RWS declined to comment. An SMM spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that it is too early to speak about ownership changes in RWS.

“So far, the only development has been that [the federal anti-monopoly service] FAS has issued an approval to a possible deal between two companies that are part of SMM,” she said. “Applications to FAS are made long before any deal is actually struck. At the moment, the ownership structure of the Russian World Studios remains unchanged.”

RWS owns the 118,000 sq. meter studio complex in St Petersburg. It also operated studio facilities in Moscow but pulled out of the city last year. Two years ago, RWS was attached to another studio project in St Petersburg, Lenfilm XXI, which it planned to develop as a joint venture with the state-run broadcasting corporation VGTRK, but the future of the project is still uncertain.