Saturday, August 23, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS



BLOGS



OPINION



WHERE TO GO?

The Romanovs in St. Petersburg

History of St. Petersburg Museum

Small Tragedy, Fatal Passion

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

 

Перевести на русский Перевести на русский Print this article Print this article

Billionaire Prokhorov Bids for 100% Stake in Russian Daily Vedomosti

Published: July 12, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has attempted to buy Vedomosti newspaper on a number of occasions.
    Photo: Sergei Porter / Vedomosti

Onexim Group, owned by billionaire and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, has bid to purchase 100 percent of shares in the influential Russian business daily Vedomosti, Russian media reported, citing sources close to the tender.

Vedomosti — which is published in tandem with the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal — is one of a handful of Russian newspaper and magazine assets owned by Sanoma Independent Media, or SIM, a subsidiary of struggling Finnish media group Sanoma, which is unloading its Russian operations in an effort to firm up its bottom line.

Citibank, which was hired to manage the sale of SIM, is expected on Friday to close the call for bids on Vedomosti and other assets included in the company's portfolio, the report said.

SIM also publishes The St. Petersburg Times and a series of glossy magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar and National Geographic through a cluster of Russian publishing houses.

Onexim has sent an official letter to Citibank offering to buy a 100 percent stake in Vedomosti, ITAR-Tass reported Thursday, citing a source who had seen the document and confirmation from a media executive familiar with the negotiations.

Prokhorov, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes at $11 billion, has already made multiple attempts to buy Vedomosti, several of his acquaintances told the paper. The sources also told Vedomosti that Derk Sauer, the Dutch founder of The Moscow Times and SIM, has been nudging him in this direction.

Sauer himself — who two years ago left SIM to head Russian media group RBC, in which Prokhorov holds a controlling stake — expressed interest in buying Vedomosti in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times in November last year.

"Vedomosti is a good business, it has good prospects and it is important for the market and for the media," Sauer said at the time.

While Onexim is primarily interested in Vedomosti, other SIM assets could also potentially be part of the sale, ITAR-Tass reported.

SIM owns only a 33 percent share in Vedomosti, so if Prokhorov wants operational control of the newspaper he would also need to purchase two equal stakes owned by Dow Jones and the FT Group, owners of The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, respectively.

SIM had been negotiating with Dow Jones and FT Group to sell its stake in Vedomosti, but talks were delayed earlier this year due to the crisis in Ukraine, ITAR-Tass reported.

Representatives of Onexim, Citibank, Sanoma and SIM declined Vedomosti's requests for comment.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



Times Talk