RTL Group to buy 30% stake in Ren-TV

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Moscow, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - RTL Group clinched a deal here Friday for the purchase of a 30% stake in the Russian broadcaster Ren-TV. The European media holding, which is part of Bertelsmann AG, is buying the stake at an undisclosed price, from REN-TV's two co-founders and chief executives, Irena and Dmitry Lesnevsky.

The Lesnevskys said they were hopeful that the advent of the foreign investor would not make their company break with its traditions and would not deprive it of its "freedom-loving spirit."

"We are glad the deal has been struck, and we see it as a positive step not just for REN-TV's future, but also for that of the Russian media industry as a whole. We've chosen RTL Group precisely because it is one of the world's most successful media companies. The deal was, to a large extent, prompted by our awareness that RTL Group's competence, reputation, expertise and huge potential could open up new possibilities for the channel's development," REN-TV's press office quoted the Lesnevskys as saying.

REN-TV ranks among Russia's largest privately owned federal television networks. It began broadcasting on January 1, 1997.

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