RTL Group may sell its 30% stake in the Russian TV station Ren TV, which it has held for the past five years.
Kommersant reports that such a move may be inferred from RTL Group’s decision for the first time not to include Ren TV in its latest set of results. This was put down to an agreement signed by RTL Group and REN TV’s majority owners National Media Group (NMG), which currently control 70% of the station, back in April.
This agreement was struck due to the fact that NMG is also the majority (72.4%) owner of Channel Five, which is classified as a “publicly owned channel” and therefore one in which no foreign company can invest.
Although RTL Group is not expected to exit Russia this year, it is pursuing a strategy of pulling out of territories in which it does not have overall control of its assets or is the market leader.
This was demonstrated as recently as last month, when it sold Five in the UK. Ren TV was launched in 1997 and has seen a number of ownership changes in its 13-year history. According to TNS, it is currently the sixth most popular channel in Russia.