MOSCOW, Oct. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CTC Media, Inc. (CTC Media, or the Company) (Nasdaq:CTCM), a leading Russian independent media company, has appointed two international firms and a Russian firm to provide legal and tax consulting services as the Company's advisers. The international law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the Russian law firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners have been engaged as legal advisers. The American consultancy firm Habif, Arogeti & Wynne has been engaged as tax advisers.
These firms will advise the Company regarding 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. These advisers will assist the Board of Directors and management in considering potential alternatives, including corporate restructuring, franchising and licensing structures, capital reorganization or divestment.
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.
Previously the Board of Directors of CTC Media has established an advisory committee comprising non-executive directors. The committee is analyzing possible actions to ensure compliance with the new law while protecting the interests of the Company's stockholders. CTC Media is also consulting with other media companies to which these amendments apply.
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".
About CTC Media
CTC Media is a corporation registered in Delaware (the U.S.) which owns, directly and indirectly, 100% of shares of Russian legal entities whose main business is broadcasting entertaining TV programs in Russia and the CIS. The shares of CTC Media are traded on NASDAQ, the American stock exchange. Shareholders of CTC Media include MTG Russia AB (100% of its shares are owned, directly and indirectly, by the Swedish public company Modern Times Group MTG AB), which holds about 39% of shares of CTC Media; Telcrest Investments Limited (a private company in Cyprus, whose beneficial owners comprise Russian legal entities and individuals) holding about 25% of the shares of CTC Media; as well as public shareholders including American and European institutional and retail investors holding the remaining shares of the company, which total 36%.
CTC Media is the leading Russian independent media company. The group manages four TV channels in Russia: CTC, "Domashniy", "Peretz" and CTC Love, as well as Channel 31 in Kazakhstan and a TV company in Moldova, and its audience exceeds 150 million people. The international version of CTC TC channel is available in North America, Europe, Central Asia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, in the Middle East and as a terrestrial channel in Kyrgyzstan. CTC Media also owns a number of digital assets aimed at entertainment: videomore.ru, domashniy.ru, ctc.ru and peretz.ru. The company's shares are traded on NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol "CTCM".
About Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Founded in 1873, Morgan Lewis offers more than 1,600 legal professionals—including lawyers, patent agents, benefits advisers, regulatory scientists, and other specialists—in 26 offices across the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm provides comprehensive litigation, corporate, transactional, regulatory, intellectual property, and labor and employment legal services to clients of all sizes—from globally established industry leaders to just-conceived start-ups. For more information about Morgan Lewis or its practices, please visit us online at www.morganlewis.com.
About Habif, Arogeti & Wynne
Since 1952, clients throughout the U.S. and in more than 40 countries have counted on Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP (HA&W) to build value, manage risk and drive growth. Today the firm's international team makes up 20 percent of the firm's 330 person-staff and is one of the largest growth areas of the company. HA&W is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, one of the world's leading networks of independently owned and managed accountancy and business advisory firms. Through connections with Baker Tilly International, HA&W has accounting connections in over 131 countries around the globe. HA&W's expertise across a broad range of services and industries provides clients with winning financial practices and insights to help them grow at every stage of their business lifecycle.
About the law firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is the leading law firm in the CIS with offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and associated offices in the UK and the USA. Founded in 1993, the Firm provides the full range of legal services to domestic and foreign businesses, governmental authorities, international organizations and financial institutions across the CIS.
For additional information, please see www.ctcmedia.ru
CONTACT: CTC Media, Inc. Investors Nickolai Ivanov Head of Investor Relations +7 495 981 0740 firstname.lastname@example.org Media Igor Ivanov Press Secretary +7 (495) 785 63 47, ext. 4352, +7 (985) 763 00 85 email@example.com
Source:CTC Media, Inc.