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VTB Capital buying minority stake in Tricolor TV

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MOSCOW, Apr 9 (PRIME) -- Russian investment company VTB Capital, part of state-controlled VTB Group, has bought an unspecified minority stake in satellite TV operator National Satellite Company, operating under the Tricolor TV brand, VTB Capital said in a statement Tuesday.

VTB Capital said it plans take measures aimed at increasing the operator’s market value and prepare the company for an initial public offering (IPO), which could take place in several years.

“We are sure that strong market positions and a large nationwide audience of Tricolor TV will allow the company to successfully use the growth potential of the Russian market of pay TV services and hold an IPO in several years,” Tim Demchenko, head of a directorate of direct investments and private special projects at VTB Capital, said as cited in the statement.

VTB Capital did not disclose the size of a stake it bought or the price of the deal.

However, a source familiar with the matter told PRIME that VTB Capital bought less than a blocking stake in the pay TV operator. The source added that the existing shareholders of National Satellite Company have no plans to sell their stakes.

National Satellite Company is Russia’s largest pay TV operator with a subscriber base at over 12.4 registered subscribers as of March 25.

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