Sweden's Modern Times Group Pulls Out of Russia

Moscow Downtown - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Downtown - H 2015

The company announced that it has sold its Russian and international pay-TV assets.

Sweden's Modern Times Group has sold its Russian and international pay-TV assets in a deal that signifies the company's complete pullout of Russia.

MTG says it sold its Russian and international pay-TV channel businesses for $45.5 million to Sabiero Holdings Limited and LLC Sinerdzhi.

Sabiero acquired MTG’s international channels business, and Sinerdzhi acquired the Russian channel's business, MTG said.

"The sale has been made necessary by the changes in the Russian laws regarding foreign ownership of mass media that were announced last year and come into effect from the beginning of next year," Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG's president and CEO, said in a statement.

"We have undertaken a thorough review of the options available to us in this context and to seek the best possible outcome for the stakeholders in the businesses and MTG as a whole," he went on to say.

Lindemann seems to be referring to a law that limits foreign ownership of Russian media companies to 20 percent, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. Its adoption a year ago made foreign broadcasters operating in Russia reconsider their strategies.

Earlier this year, Discovery re-registered its Russian assets to the local distributor to comply with the new law.