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CTC nabs two local production units

Company acquires duo for $50 million

CTC Media, the Nasdaq-listed company that runs CTC, Russia’s top commercial television network, is acquiring two local production outfits for $50 million amid moves to set up a vertically integrated inhouse program rights management and production division.

Deal for Costafilm and Soho Media is expected to close during the first quarter of 2008, CTC Media said Wednesday.

CTC Media will pay $40 million for Costafilm — $11 million of it upfront — with the rest in three installments from earnings until 2010, subject to the satisfaction of annual performance requirements.

In a similar deal for Soho Media, $10 million will be payable, with $6 million subject to the earn-out clause, CTC Media said.

Costafilm, a private Russian company owned by its management, is an exclusive program maker for CTC responsible for hit TV shows including military drama “Cadets” and the Russian version of “Daddy’s Girl.”

Soho Media, whose owners include Russian producer Sergei Kalvarsky, specializes in entertainment programming, including “Minute of Fame” and “The Great Race,” popular shows on the publicly owned First Channel, Russia’s market leader.

Immediate benefits from the acquisitions would include better cost control and streamlined production processes for Russian series and shows, which were the bread and butter of the network’s primetime schedules, said CTC Media chief exec Alexander Rodnyansky.

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