Russia’s leading DTH operator Tricolor TV has undergone a change of ownership and now has three rather than two shareholders.
AKTR and Marker report that the development only came to light in a document obtained from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) which showed that three individuals now hold stakes of 50%, 37.4% and 12.6% in the company.
Prior to this, the listed shareholders in Tricolor TV were Ziaida Tolpekina and Olga Orlova, both of which held 50% stakes.
One of them – it is not specified who – then sold a 37.4% stake in the company to an unnamed third party.
It has been suggested that this change could be paving the way for the acquisition of Tricolor TV by Gazprom Media.
Although a deal was announced as far back as 2009, it was never actually finalised and Alexander Makarov, Tricolor TV’s general director, said only last month that it could be revived.
Tricolor TV has just over 10 millions subscribers and posted a net income of R82 million (€2.04 million) in 2010, or 37% more than a year earlier.
However, its profitability remains low due to high service and management costs.