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Regulator approves mystery acquisition of 50% of Tricolor TV

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has approved the sale of 50% of leading pay TV operator Tricolor TV to an unnamed individual, according to local press reports.

The competition regulator’s telecom chief Dmitry Rutenberg told Vedomosti that it had approved the acquisition of a 50% stake by an existing Russian shareholder, taking the individual’s stake from 37.4% to 87.4%. The change in the ownership structure will be effectuated by a capital increase, according to Tricolor.

Tricolor TV is owned by National Satellite Company, which is believed to be owned by Zinaida Tolpekina and Olga Orlova, along with an undisclosed investor that took a 37.4% stake in February. There were unconfirmed reports earlier this year that a possible investor could be Andrey Tkachenko, president of technology provider General Satellite, which is a  partner to the operator. Another possible candidate is Gazprom Media, which entered talks to take a stake in 2009 but did not proceed with the acquisition.