11 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters has advised RTL Group Eastern and Central Europe GmbH on the acquisition of a 30 per cent shareholding in major Russian television broadcasting and production group, REN TV, from founders Iren Lesnevskaya and Dmitry Lesnevsky.
The transaction, which was announced on 1 July 2005, is subject to regulatory and corporate approvals and is expected to be finalised before the end of the year. Iren Lesnevskaya and Dmitry Lesnevsky will continue to be closely associated with RTL Group.
With the acquisition, RTL Group expands into Russia, one of the fastest growing advertising markets in the world. RTL Group is Europe’s leading commercial broadcaster, with interests in 31 television channels and 33 radio stations in ten countries and content production throughout the world.
REN TV started out as a production company in 1991 and launched broadcasting activities in 1997. One of Russia’s leading private broadcasters, REN TV reaches 97 million people in Russia. The Moscow-based television network broadcasts news, documentaries, entertainment, music and sports programmes, in addition to popular foreign series and films.
Linklaters corporate partner, Dominic Sanders, commented: “We are delighted to have advised RTL Group on one of very few acquisitions by foreign companies in the Russian media sector.”
Linklaters’ team was led by Dominic Sanders and included Airi Hammalov, Yelena Savicheva and Tatyana Androssova (all corporate, Moscow).