RTL set to exit Russia

russia-flagThe number of strategic foreign investors in Russia’s TV industry may soon be reduced to just two, namely Modern Times Group (MTG) and Walt Disney Company.

Referring to a statement in the company’s latest set of results, Kommersant reports that RTL is set to sell its 7.5% stake in the National Media Group (NMG), though a final decision is still pending.

The reasons for doing so are that RTL’s general investment criteria are to be the leader or a strong number two in each market the company operates in.

Russian shareholders in the NMG have meanwhile indicated that RTL would be exercising its option by withdrawing from the company and existing shareholders would acquire its stake.

RTL acquired its 7.5% stake in NMG in exchange for the 30% it held in Ren TV two years ago. Sweden’s MTG has been present in Russia since 2002, while Walt Disney holds a 49% stake in the Russian version of Disney, launched in January 2012.