Russia's Prof Media to gain controlling stake in Rambler Media

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MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Prof Media, a leading private media holding in Russia, has bought around 48.8% in Rambler Media, and plans to buy another 6%, the holding said Tuesday.

Prof Media said it acquired a 48.8% stake on October 30. It also signed a contract to buy an additional 6%, which will give it a controlling stake of 54.8%, after Russian regulators approve the deal. The media holding did not disclose the sum involved.

"Prof Media does not at the moment plan to raise its stake in Rambler Media beyond this deal," the company said.

Rambler Media, whose activities focus on Internet, mobile content, and television, said in late October it will focus on its Internet business, which provides its main source of revenue, and plans to sell other company assets.

The company's Internet portal, Rambler.ru, is visited by 21 million people a month, and its search engine is one of the most popular in Russia.

Rambler's consolidated earnings in the first half of 2006 stood at $16 billion, and its net profit at about $2.5 billion. Rambler Media shares are traded on the LSE's Alternative Investment Market.

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