Viacom Dumps MTV / VH1 Russia For $360 Million
Wayfarer Media Limited, the holding company of the MTV Russia and VH1 Russia TV networks, has been purchased by Estermina Ltd. Wayfarer had been 53% owned by Viacom’s MTV Networks International, 42%-owned by private equity firm Russia Partners and 5% owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Estermina, a company acting on behalf of Russian diversified media company Prof-Media, operates a nationwide chain of multiplexes, has a broad portfolio of TV and Internet interests and is a leading player in Russian radio. MTV NI says it will continue to grant an exclusive license to Wayfarer Media Limited for its MTV and VH1 programming in Russia, and their respective online presences. Russia Partners launched MTV Russia launched in September 1998 through a license agreement with MTVNI. The following year, MTVNI bought a major stake in MTV Russia. VH1 launched through the joint venture in 2005. The music TV broadcaster’s feed is beamed into the homes of an estimated 94 million viewers in more than 650 cities in the Russian Federation and the other Former Soviet Republics.