CTC Media, Inc. (CTC Media, or the Company) (NASDAQ: CTCM), a leading independent Russian media company, appointed Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners to advise on potential responses to the recent amendments to the Russian law “On Mass Media,” which will impose further restrictions on foreign ownership of media businesses in Russia.
The amendments reduce the permitted level of aggregate foreign ownership of Russian mass media from 50% direct ownership to 20% direct or indirect ownership or control. The legislation applies to both existing and future foreign ownership, and will come into force on January 1, 2016. The amended law will affect CTC Media itself, as a Delaware corporation that directly or indirectly owns 100% of the shares of a series of Russian legal entities that operate primarily broadcast media entertainment businesses in Russia and the CIS, and then the non-Russian stockholders of the US holding company. Russian beneficial owners holding through off-shore holding structures will have until January 1, 2017 to comply with the law.
Yuliana Slashcheva, CEO of CTC Media: “As we had reported earlier, new legislative requirements may have an impact on the ownership structure or operations of our American parent company, whose shares are traded on NASDAQ, and its shareholders outside Russia. To fully analyze all our existing opportunities, we have engaged leading legal and financial advisers. These are companies with an extensive expertise in their spheres, which will help us to take the most effective action in the existing circumstances in order to protect the interests of our shareholders. The advisory committee of our Board of Directors is considering the appointment of financial advisers. We may engage other external advisers as necessary to protect the interests of our shareholders”.