Leonard Blavatnik has reportedly agreed in principle to buy a controlling interest in MTG’s Viasat business in Russia.
Quoting the head of the Russian media company and federal officials, Vedomosti adds that the businessman has been in negotiations for several months about the purchase of Viasat and that – significantly – the assets include not only those in Russia but in other developing markets, in CEE and Africa.
Contacted by Broadband TV News, a source at MTG said that it is evaluating all options and has not reached any conclusions. They added that the company never comments on rumours in the market.
Though born in what was the Soviet Union, Blavatnik is now a US citizen. As a result, he would have to acquire the Viasat business through one of his Russian partners in order to comply with upcoming legislation limiting foreign interest in Russian media companies to 20%.
Blavatnik’s interests include Warner Music, which he acquired for $3.3 billion in 2011.
In Russia, they include Amedia, a leading production company that also operates three TV channels.