Swedish Group Buys Stake In Russian Television Network

Swedish-based media group Modern Times Group AB said Monday it is buying a 36.3 percent stake in StoryFirst Communications Inc., a US media-investment group that owns 75 percent of the STS television network and six radio stations across Russia. "This investment continues our international expansion and complements our acquisition of the Darial TV channel in Russia last year," Hans-Holger Albrecht, president and CEO of MTG, said in a press release. MTG operates both free-to-air and pay TV channels in nine countries, along with an Internet portal and teletext services. MTG declined to say how much it offered for the stake. But Peter Dahlander, a media analyst at the Carnegie investment bank in Stockholm, estimated the figure at around $20 million. "If you go to an emerging market, depending also on what type of the political risk you would see, price sales multiples are coming down substantially, compared with those in a developed market," said Dahlander, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

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