7 Jul 2010 11:55

Surgutneftegas acquires 15% stake in Video International

KHANTY-MANSIISK. July 7 (Interfax) - Surgutneftegas has acquired 15% of ordinary shares in Video International, the biggest operator on the Russian television advertising market.

The oil major's stake in Video International was registered on July 5, 2010, Surgutneftegas said in a statement. It does not disclose who it acquired the stake from.

Surgutneftegas along with Alexei Mordashov is a minority shareholder in Bank Rossiya, which the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) cleared to acquire 45% in Video International in May.

Three companies associated with the bank filed with the FAS to acquire 15% of Video International shares each: SOGAZ , CJSC Lider and Abros Investment Company LLC.

Lider is part of the SOGAZ insurance group, which is controlled by Bank Rossiya, whose main beneficiaries are Yury Kovalchuk, Nikolai Shamalov, Dmitry Gorelov, Gennady Timchenko and Mordashov. Abros is both a subsidiary and a shareholder in Bank Rossiya.

The bank also controls National Media Group, which includes the Channel Five and REN television channels.

According to the unified state register of corporate entities, Video International's shareholders include (in descending stake size): the heirs of Yury Zapol, Vladimir Golubev, Oganes Sobolev, Sergei Vasilyev, Anatoly Novikov, Maxim Boiko, Vladimir Perepelkin and Alexander Gurevich.

Video International sells advertising on 13 nationwide channels, but will see that number slashed when amendments to advertising law take effect in the near future. Those amendments prohibit the federal channels from concluding television advertising contracts with companies that have more than a 35% share of the market. Agreements that took effect before the amendments come into force will remain valid for no more than one year.

That will force Video International to drop two of its three biggest clients: Channel One, VGTRK and CTC Media.