Russian Tycoon Arkady Rotenberg Acquires Controlling Share in TV Content Producer

The company produces shows for Russia's biggest TV network, Channel One.

MOSCOW -- Russian tycoon Arkady Rottenberg has entered the media industry by acquiring a controlling stake in the country's biggest TV content producer, Krasny Kvadrat.

Rottenberg -- currently No. 385 on Forbes' list of world billionaires, with a net worth of $4 billion and main assets in construction, pipes and banking -- has bought a 51 percent share in Krasny Kvadrat from its sole owner Larissa Sinelshchikova, the company said.

Krasny Kvadrat, which annually produces over 1,100 hours of TV, according to KVG Media research group, is Russia's biggest producer of television content. It mainly works for the country's largest TV network, state-controlled Channel One, accounting for up to 90 percent of all shows aired by the station, but is not affiliated with it.

In 2013, Krasny Kvadrat reported revenues of $255.6 million (9.1 billion rubles).

It isn't yet clear if the sanctions recently imposed by the United States on Rottenberg, along with his brother Boris and entrepreneur Gennady Timchenko, all three believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin, are going to have an impact on Krasny Kvadrat. Some of the shows it produces are international franchises, such as Golos, a local version of The Voice.