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City news, 18.02.2008 13:55

Petersburg TV, REN-TV merge in new media holding

The Petersburg broadcasting company and REN-TV have merged into the National Media Group holding, a statement from the holding says.

The media holding was formed by the key shareholders of the two companies - Rossia bank, steel giant Severstal (RTS: CHMF), oil company Surgutneftegaz (RTS: SNGS) and SOGAZ insurance group.

"The founders of the holding decided to bring together their media assets to make them more competitive and to better manage the TV channels," the statement says.

At the first stage the holding accumulated 68% of REN TV and 72% of Petersburg broadcasting company Channel Five. The breakdown of the stakes of the founders is as follows: Surgutneftegaz 19.49%, Severstal 19.49%, SOGAZ 6.06% and Rossia bank 54.96%.

"The holding is planning to further expand its presence on the media market. For instance, the holding plans to acquire controlling shares in Izvestia daily," the statement says.

Lyubov Sovershayeva, board chair of Abros investment company, was elected board chair of the new holding. Sergei Fursenko, CEO of Lentransgaz company, was recommended for the post of general director.

The shareholders also decided to form a public council that would help the holding carry out its public mission and work out recommendations on keeping a balance between pubic and commercial interests in its operations.

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