Akhmetov spokesperson reveals fate of employees and assets of Media Group Ukraine

22 August, 07:03 PM
Rinat Akhmetov (Photo:shakhtar.com)

Rinat Akhmetov (Photo:shakhtar.com)

Media Group Ukraine of Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov will fire all key employees by the end of August, while the company's assets will be sold or leased, SCM director of communications Natalya Yemchenko said in a post on Facebook on Aug 22.

The media group has already dismissed more than half of the team. Yemchenko added that the company is paying a large sum of severance pay to the employees.

“In total, in regards with Media Group Ukraine we are talking about millions of dollars,” Yemchenko said.

At the same time, she noted that even though Media Group Ukraine essentially no longer exists,it is still a large company with a huge content library of shows, tv series, informational and sports archives. The company also has a large amount of equipment and IT systems for the group's technological projects (such as oll.tv).

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The company will sell part of its assets at market prices, and lease out part of it.

“Under equal conditions, we will give preference to former employees, if one of them decides to start something of their own,” added Yemchenko.

“We can’t sell below the market prices, (because of the law), but they have the right of (first refusal), of course.”

The brands of Media Group Ukraine are neither being sold nor rented.

On July 21, the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting cancelled the licenses of Media Group Ukraine, which is owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov.

In particular, the licenses of the national TV channels Ukraine, Ukraina24, NLO.TV, Football ½/3, Indigo tv, and DONBAS were nullified. The licenses of several regional TV and radio companies were also canceled, including those ofTV-5 (Zaporizhzhia) and the Mariupol TV channel SIGMA, which was recently re-registered in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

In total, during the meeting, the regulator canceled the licenses of 14 companies owned by Akhmetov. The list also includes two Media Group Ukraine providers: Xtra.tv satellite platform (Extra-TV LLC) and Oll.tv OTT platform (a legal entity of Digital Screens LLC).

On July 11, SCM announced that Akhmetov had "made a forced decision" to withdraw the company from the media business. According to the businessman, the decision was made in connection with the "law on oligarchs” coming into force.

Later, SCM clarified that only its broadcasting licenses were to be returned to the state. No other assets of the media group will be handed back to the state.

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