SUP and Kommersant extend relationship with equity transaction
SUP, one of Russia’s fastest growing online media companies, and Kommersant Publishing House, one of Russia’s most prestigious media businesses, have agreed to extend their online partnership.
In return for a significant investment Kommersant have acquired an equity stake in SUP. Kommersant will also have the right to appoint two members to the SUP board.
The first major development of this partnership is the acquisition of Gazeta.ru from Kommersant by SUP. This transaction builds on work which has been undertaken in the past 12 months to introduce functionality from LiveJournal, SUP’s social network and blogging platform, into Kommersant’s online media assets including Gazeta.ru.
Kommersant’s decision to take a stake in SUP reflects their continued investment in and enthusiasm for online media. This move builds on the recent initiatives by Kommersant such as the partnership with NewsTube, Russia’s latest online video news service and archive, leading the online copyright protection initiative and being a principal partner in the launch of MSN.ru.
Gazeta.ru will be run by SUP as a stand alone editorial title. SUP will start to develop plans with the Gazeta.ru management team to invest in the continued growth of the site’s audience, expand its regional coverage, offer new products to advertisers, strengthen its technological infrastructure and use SUP’s expertise in user-generated content to introduce new features into the site.
SUP will draw on the expertise which it has developed in growing web audiences and generating revenues online since its launch the summer of 2006. Under SUP’s control LiveJournal’s audience in Russia has doubled and it has secured an impressive collection of advertising campaigns from leading Russian and global brands. SUP has also significantly expanded the audience base of Championat.ru, the sports news site which it bought in 2006 and which has grown to take first position in the online only sports market.
Andrew Paulson, CEO of SUP said, “I am delighted that Gazeta.ru has become a part of SUP, it cements our position in the Russian media space. I am looking forward to working with our new colleagues from Kommersant. This deal provides a great opportunity for our team to expand SUP’s footprint in the advertising market and build on the progress which we have made since our launch two years ago.
Demyan Kudryavstev, general director of Kommersant said, “This deal will give Kommersant even greater reach and influence in the online media market. It was natural for us to do this deal with SUP given that our two companies have delivered new services to online users over the past 12 months.”