The resulting joint venture will be 70% owned by Rostelecom and 30% by NMG and operate under the Wink brand.
The move is aimed at strengthening the position of both parties in the Russian content production and distribution market. An assessment of the business and other necessary corporate procedures is now being planned and an integration committee will be formed to resolve operational issues.
It is planned to gradually merge services, content libraries and client bases, as well as to create a single competence centre for producing and producing original content. Integration procedures should be completed by the end of 2022.
Commenting on the development, Mikhail Oseevsky, president of Rostelecom, said: “Only the union of the strong can be successful. Rostelecom is the leader of the Russian interactive TV market, and our Wink video service is one of the three largest online cinemas in terms of the number of paying subscribers. We traditionally have the most powerful offer of television content among competitors. NMG, in turn, has achieved impressive success in the production of serials and films, which are enjoyed by millions of Russian viewers. Our joint venture will combine the strengths of the participants by offering the market an efficient production and distribution pipeline for great content, both in IPTV and OTT environments. As a result of the merger, we will strengthen our joint market positions and increase the production of original content”.
Svetlana Balanova, general director of NMG, added: “NMG and Rostelecom already have successful experience of joint projects in the media business. We are pleased that we have found an opportunity to expand our partnership to other lines of business. The synergy of production capacities and expertise in creating NMG media content and various digital distribution channels will significantly strengthen the position of the updated online cinema in the highly competitive Russian market. Vast experience in creating successful media content will allow NMG to form an effective content strategy for the unified platform”.