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Yury Kovalchuk, BOD chairman at St. Petersburg Rossia Bank and close mate of President Putin
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Dec. 19, 2006
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Presidents Mate Takes Over Ren TV
Abros Capital Co. has become a big holder at Ren TV. Abros is the subsidiary of St. Petersburg Rossia Bank, which BOD chairman is Yury Kovalchuk, a close friend of President Vladimir Putin. In addition to Ren TV, Rossia is the biggest holder at federal TRK Petersburg TV Channel.
On December 18, holders of Media-Holding Ren TV (a TV channel and TV company of the same name) approved a new strength of the BOD, Ren TV announced in the official news release. The BOD convened its first meeting on the same day and elected Lyubov Sovershaeva as the chairperson.

In the BOD of Media-Holding Ren TV, Sovershaeva stands for a new holder, Abros, which she took over in September. Of interest is that, in early 1990s, Sovershaeva worked in the City Hall of St. Petersburg, where Vladimir Putin was then the vice mayor.

Abros is a subsidiary of Rossia Bank that is controlled by Yury Kovalchuk. Rossia owns over 38 percent in TRK Petersburg and is likely to extend the stake to the majority one in the near term. In the next move, the analysts forecast, TRK Petersburg and Ren TV could merge into a single media holding, though two TV companies would remain independent. Should it happen, Kovalchuk would gain both economic and ideological control over TRK Petersburg and Ren TV.

The size of Abros stake in Ren TV is yet unclear. But in view of the chairpersons authority of Sovershaeva, the matter at stake is probably the majority ownership.

Before the deal, Severstal and Surgutneftegaz had held 35 percent each in the company and 30 percent had belonged to German RTL Group. Alexey Germanovich of Severstal had chaired the Ren TVs BOD before yesterday.

All the Article in Russian as of Dec. 19, 2006

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