Russian TV exec to receive $26 million

The former head of a leading Russian television channel, accused of breaking an anti-competition pact with his one-time employer, has settled out of court and will receive nearly $26 million in cash and more than 2 million shares.

Alexander Rodnyansky, who has been credited with steering independent media group CTC Media to ratings success during his time as CEO and later president, had faced court action in New York over allegations that he had broken a deal not to work for rival channels after stepping down earlier this year.

Rodnyansky, who had retained a place on the CTC board, denied any wrongdoing.

In a brief statement, CTC said under the terms of a voluntary settlement that Rodnyansky would immediately resign from the board and forfeit a third of stock appreciation rights granted to him in 2003 and a third of vested stock options granted in 2006. The remaining stock appreciation options would be settled by issuing Rodnyansky just over 2 million common shares and paying him $25.9 million in cash, CTC said. Rodnyansky would also have the right to exercise a further 1.8 million stock options until June 18 at the previously set price of $16.95 a share.

Neither party admitted liability under the settlement, which dismissed the legal action that had been begun in New York.

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