Finam buys into Deluxe Television

Russian investment group takes initial 10% stake

MOSCOW -- The Russian investment group Finam has acquired a 10% stake in the European network of TV channels and radio stations Deluxe Television GmbH and has signed a framework agreement with the company, under which it will be able to increase its holding to 50% within a year, a Finam spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter.

The value of the deal has not been revealed.

The Russian newspaper RBC Daily quoted Deluxe's managing director Cosmin-Gabriel Ene on Wednesday as saying that the Russian investor would help to turn the media group into a global company.

Finam's spokesman confirmed that there are plans to develop Deluxe's channels and enter new markets, such as Russia and Asia.

"Currently, the specifics of entering the Russian market are under discussion," he said, adding that Deluxe could begin operation in Russia within two years.

Deluxe Television GmbH, which owns one free-to-air channel, Free TV and seven pay music channels, is controlled by its management.

Industry insiders in Russia said that Deluxe channels could be successful here in line with the trends of increasing audiences of niche cable and satellite channels, and the participation of the local investor would help to promote the channels in Russia.