9 Apr 2019 12:08

MTS in talks on purchase of online movie service ivi - newspaper

MOSCOW. April 9 (Interfax) - PJSC MTS is in talks on purchasing the online movie service ivi.ru, RBC reported.

MTS is interested in buying a 100% stake for 20 billion rubles.

LLC Ivi.ru wholly belongs to the Cyprus-based LLC Ivi.ru Media Limited.

The latter, according to the Cypriot register of legal entities, is owned by ru-Net, Tiger Global, Baring Vostok, Lighthouse Strategy, and Finsight Investments.

The chairman of ru-Net's board of director's, Leonid Boguslavksy, told RBC that various investors are showing interest in ivi.ru but that "there are not currently developed negotiations going on with any of them."

MTS's press service "knows nothing about talks with ivi," according to RBC.

The ivi.ru press service declined to comment but said that the companies IFRS revenue in 2018 had grown 62% to 3.94 billion rubles.

Last fall, MTS's board of directors approved an updated strategy for 2019-2021 envisaging the provision of converged services to subscribers.

"To a significant degree, this [strategy] reflects MTS's transition to be a more digital company and company that offers a convergent set of services. That is, we are moving in the direction of unifying a varied set of services and smart-packaging them for our clients," MTS head Alexei Kornya said in October.

The operator is planning to launch a new TV platform this year.