Publisher Forbes sold its media in Russia

German media group Axel Springer leaves Russia: the entire local business, the main asset of which is the Russian version of Forbes, was sold to Alexander Fedotov, the publisher of L'Officiel, SNC, Numero and Golf Digest magazines.
Origin source
Fedotov and von Flemming

German Axel Springer announced the sale of 100% of the Russian JSC "Axel Springer Russia", control all of its Russian business. Buyer named Alexander Fedotov, the founder of the publishing house "Artkom Me dia". The agreement was signed on Thursday, 17 September, confirmed in a press release, Axel Springer.

Fedotov did not respond to phone calls RBC correspondent. General Director of "Axel Springer Russia" Regina von Flemming has refused to answer questions on the RBC, recommending acquainted with published on the website message in Russian. "We [ie, the command" Artkom Media "] look forward to merge with the professional team of the publishing house Axel Springer c to expand and develop our media group" - are reported words Fedotov.

The statement also said that in the coming weeks Regina von Flemming will become a minority shareholder - will acquire 20% of the company (given that the negotiations are in the final stage), and January 1, 2016 it will take the position of "Axel Springer Russia" director general adviser.

The Rosthese German company was making on the Media Forbes American license local version of Forbes magazine, as well as weekly OK !, Geo monthlies and «Gala Biography." In addition, the company operates sites and

Forbes - the most popular magazine, which is published in Russia Axel Springer. The average audience of his numbers by TNS Russia data for March-July this year, across the country amounted to nearly 1.5 million people over 12 years old. The comparable figure the Geo - less than 1.3 million, «Gala Biography" - 713 thousand, OK.! -. 585 thousand Monthly all-Russian audience site in July, more than 3 million people 12-64 years old, - 524 thousand, -. 315 thousand.

"Artkom Media" publishes magazines such as L'Officiel, Numero, SNC (formerly known as the Sex and City), Golf Digest, Interni. The average issue readership SNC in Russia, according to TNS Russia in March-July, equal to 163 thousand. people over 12 years old. Interni The audience is measured only in Moscow and is only 31.5 thousand. People.

According to SPARK-Interfax system, total revenue of legal entities related to Fedotov and having financial information, barely exceeds 120 million rubles. for 2013.

The symbolic sum

The transaction amount was not disclosed. In 2014, the revenues of JSC "Axel Springer Russia" under RAS decreased by 12%, to 872 million rbl., The loss from operating activities reached 201 million rubles. (A year earlier it was 53 million rubles of profit from operations.), Net loss - almost 155 million rubles. (Previous year - 49 million rubles of net loss.).

Total advertising revenues of publishers last year declined, according to the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia, 11%, to 16.5 billion rubles in the first six months of this year -. Already at 33%, to RUB 5,4-5,5 billion .

For Axel Springer Russian business was unprofitable, so to evaluate it for any multiples hardly makes sense, said the head of a rival ID. Perhaps in the course of the negotiations it was the return of the investment that Axel Springer has made over the years in a Russian company, the source says RBC. According to him, about a large amount can not speak because "Axel Springer Russia" all editions except for OK! produces under license: at any time the owner can withdraw his license, which reduces the cost of biznesa.

The license for the edition of Forbes in Russia, a key asset of Axel Springer Russia, will pass to the buyer automatically as soon as the deal is officially closed, said RBC's executive director Mike Forbes Federle the Media. Closing of the transaction, according to him, it is expected in the next three to four weeks.

The representative of the German Gruner + Jahr, which owns the license to Geo and Gala, has not yet responded to a request to RBC.

"The restrictions are unacceptable"

In the Russian market, Axel Springer has worked since 2004, but was forced to withdraw due to the adoption last year of amendments to the media law: in 2016 they prohibit foreigners from owning more than 20% of all the founder of the Russian media.

The Axel Springer report quoted the president of its international division Ralph Buchi: "When we went to the Russian market, we believe in the future economic development and liberalization of the country [ie, Russia]." "For us as a publisher of the influential business magazine Forbes Russia restrictions to minority interest is unacceptable", - complains Buchi.

Media owners and managers with foreign capital over the lastyear have been negotiating with the authorities to ease the restrictions or postpone eakonodatelnyh. One of the most active participants of these talks was just Regina von Flemming, told RBC market participants. But no fundamental decisions about changing the law has not been adopted.

Forbes Media representatives met with Alexander Fedotov and had the opportunity to examine its position in the market, said Mike Federle. "We are happy that the buyer was" Artkom Media ", because he shares our view on the quality of content and experiences to our respect for the standards and principles of independent editorial policy," - added Federle.

The chief editor of the Russian Forbes Elmar Murtazaev declined to comment.

As media companies solve the problem "of the law of 20%"

Who is already adjusted to

Hearst Shkulev Media

In July of this year were the new company, which is directly to the publisher Victor Shkuleva owns 80% and the remaining 20% ​​- the American Hearst Corp. But all the partners magazines produced in Russia is still decorated in the company "XePCT Shkulev Media ", until recently, the basic structure of Hearst Shkulev Media, which Shkulev and Hearst Corp. owned on a parity basis.

Fox International Channels

Since July this year, Fox founded the family of channels - National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Fox, Babby TV, Fox Live - instead of the American Fox International Channels structure steel companies of the Russian group "Telco Media", the official distributor of Fox International Channels. Now the "Telco Media", previously exclusively responsible for the distribution of the American TV channels in Russia is formally responsible and their editorial policy.

Discovery Communications

In August this year, the American Discovery Communications, distributed in Russia Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Eurosport and seven TV channels, today announced a joint venture with National Media Group. She received a 80% Russian business partner and provided the ether license, thanks to which Discovery Communications channels again can earn from advertising in Russia.

Who has already gone

NBC Universal

In January of this year, NBC Universal announced that since the spring stops its spread in the Russian channels Universal Channel and E! Entertainment. The reason for this decision was called the deterioration of the economic situation for pay TV. Last summer, a law was passed prohibiting the broadcast of paid advertising on the channels from 1 January 2015.

AMC Network

In March this year a government commission to monitor foreign investment declined to agree a deal with the technical parent company AMC Network in Russia: at the global level has changed the owner of AMC Network, and the new owner simply wanted to consolidate 100% of Russian "daughter" of one foreign company. In announcing the resignation, the company hoped that the dissemination of its channels in Russia (CBS Drama, CBS Reality, Outdoor Channel, JimJam et al.) Will be engaged in any local distributor.


In July of this year, it sold 100% of CJSC "Edipress-Konliga" its director general Maxim Zimin. In Russia, the Swiss company was making about 30 magazines, "Mom, it's me!", "Women's advice. The most "" trendy hairstyles, "" Favorite summer residence "," Knitting is for you "and others.

Who else is in the process of

"CTC Media"
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In July this year, an offer to purchase 75% of the operating business for $ 200 million "CTC Media" TV did YUTV Holding, the main beneficiaries of which Usmanov and Ivan Tavrin. If the deal is closed, the number of shareholders of "CTC Media" will leave the Swedish Modern Times Group (38,53%) and minority shareholders (36.07%). Along with YUTV owner of "CTC Media", which manages the channel STS, "Home", "Pepper" and "a CTC Love" will be the Cyprus Telcrest, associated with the bank "Russia" Yuri Kovalchuk.