VTB Group may buy into pay TV business

As reported by Russian business daily Vedomosti on 6 November 2012,  VTB Group may buy 25 per cent plus one share in pay TV operator Tricolor (known shareholder – Andrei Tkachenko) for as much as USD 200 million. The company received the consent of the Federal Antimonopoly Service in the summer to increase its interest in National Satellite Company from 37.4 per cent to 87.4 per cent of the shares.

The pay TV operator ha an estimated 12 million subscribers. Tricolor has been looking for investor for a whole, with Gazprom Media walking away from a deal at the last minute in 2009. It is unclear why VTB needs the asset and according to analysts it may well pay overpaying for the asset, in line with past history (the purchase of the Bank of Moscow is just one example that springs to mind).

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