VTB Capital Buys Tricolor TV Stake for $500 Million IPO in 2015

VTB Capital, an investment arm of Russia’s second-biggest lender, bought an undisclosed stake in satellite-television provider Tricolor TV, seeking to prepare it for an initial public offering, the companies said in a statement today.

Tricolor will be ready for a public share sale in 2015, Tim Demchenko, head of private equity at Moscow-based VTB Capital, said in a telephone interview. The company may be worth more than $1.5 billion by then, while the offering value may be about $500 million, he said.

Tricolor’s sales rose 43 percent last year to 6.3 billion rubles ($202 million), while revenue per user was about $23, the company said it January. Tricolor has about 9.1 million paying customers. It may increase subscribers to as many as 20 million in the future and boost profitability, Demchenko said.

Gazprom-Media announced a planned acquisition of Tricolor in 2009 and that deal failed, Vedomosti reported in November.

Anastasia Sokolovskaya, a spokeswoman for Tricolor, declined to comment.

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