Sale of top Russian business newspaper ‘Vedomosti’ complete
Update: Ivan Yeremin is Vedomosti‘s sole new owner. Konstantin Zyatkov bowed out of the deal, according to the news agency TASS.
One of Russia’s top business newspapers, “Vedomosti,” has officially been sold to the company “Sapport,” Gleb Prozorov, the CEO of the newspaper’s now former publisher, “Business News Media,” told Meduza. According to Vedomosti, the agreement was signed on May 28 and will be closed in the coming days.
The publication’s sources say that this company is controlled by the founder of the media holding “FederalPress,” Ivan Yeremin, as well as Konstantin Zyatkov, one of the leaders of the publishing house “Nasha Versiya.”
Yeremin is one of the founders of the news site Uralpolit.ru, which he launched with his now ex-wife Aksana Panova, the founder of Ura.ru and Znak.com. Yeremin now manages FederalPress and, according to one of his acquaintances, pays a lot of attention to cooperation with officials.
Another update: In an editorial, Vedomosti editors Pavel Aptekar and Vladimir Ruvinsky say the newspaper’s survival is now ensured, though the form Vedomosti will take remains unclear. The editorial warns that Yeremin has a reputation for collaborating actively with the state authorities and “preparing and publishing materials in the interests of clients.” “We cannot rule out that [our] new owner will try to apply his usual business model [at Vedomosti],” write Aptekar and Ruvinsky.
Vedomosti was previously owned by Demyan Kudryavtsev, and his business partners Vladimir Voronov, and Martin Pompadour, through the business entity “Arkan Investment.” In March, reports emerged that they had reached an agreement to sell the publication to Zyatkov and Alexey Golubovich, the managing director of the investment firm “Arbat Capital.” Golubovich later backed out of the deal.
In mid-May, a Meduza joint investigation revealed that Arkan Investment had taken out a 28 million euro loan (worth approximately $31 million today) from Rosneft’s Russian Regional Development Bank (RRDB).
Kudryavtsev later confirmed this information, but claimed that the money went towards purchasing other media assets, rather than to Vedomosti. He also claimed that the debt was paid off several months ago.