A consortium of investors bought a stake in the publisher of Cosmopolitan and Esquire

A consortium of investors bought a stake in the publisher of Cosmopolitan and Esquire

Moscow. December 29. Finnish media holding Sanoma has found a buyer for his stake in the publishing house “Fashion press”. The deal was announced a couple of days before the entry into force of the new law “On mass media”, according to which foreigners from 2016 cannot own more than 20% in Russian media.

The share of Sanoma in Hearst Independent Media Publishing B. V., the parent company OOO “Fashion press”, has gained the consortium of investors under the management of Inventure Partners. “Hearst “remains an active shareholder and continue to support the business in Russia”, is spoken in the message of the Foundation.

“Fashion press” – a joint venture of Sanoma and Hearst. At the end of last year, Sanoma has signed an agreement to sell its interest in “Fashion Press” (50%) of Hearst Shkulev Media, a joint venture of Hearst and the American businessman Victor shkuleva. However, the government Commission on foreign investments has refused to negotiate a deal.

The amount of the transaction with Inventure Partners is less than that for which the share of Sanoma in the “Fashion press” was willing to buy Hearst Shkulev Media, said a source familiar with the details of the transaction. Hearst Shkulev and were willing to buy the asset at 46 million euros, wrote “Vedomosti” in June.

In addition to the shares in the “Fashion press” Inventure Partners also acquires OOO “Mondadori the independent Media” (the publisher of Grazia).

“Fashion press” publishes magazines Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Popular mechanics, Harper’s Bazaar, Domashny Ochag and owns their online versions. Inventure Partners “plans to develop the printing edition “Fashion press”, and also intends to grow the company as a leader in online media with a focus on fashion, lifestyle and new technologies”. The Fund also intends to develop “innovative, customer-oriented products within the company and new business models for the publishing market”.

According to the President of Hearst Magazines International Duncan Edwards, quoted in the report, Hearst “sees huge potential in the Russian market, especially in the online space”.

Financial performance

According to base “SPARK-Interfax”, the proceeds OOO “Fashion press” in 2014 decreased by 8.2% to 2.7 billion roubles. According to the Association of communication agencies of Russia (ACAR), the volume of advertising in print media in the past year fell by 11%, to 33 billion rubles, including in magazines – on 11%, to 16.9 billion rubles. The market for Internet advertising grew by 18% to 84,6 billion. In the first 9 months 2015 the volume of advertising in print media decreased by 32% (as in magazines), the Internet grew 12%.

Inventure Partners specializes in funding technology companies in the consumer sector. Among the projects of the service of taxi Gett, online travel Agency OnlineTours, a service of mobile acquiring 2Can, platform for bus ticketing Busfor, center for online learning, “Netologia”. Co-founder and managing Director of the Fund Sergey Azatyan. He worked in the Fund Marcap Advisors, where she specialized in the TMT sector (telecommunications, media, technology), 2009-2011 worked on the reorganization of Svyazinvest, member of the Board of Directors of “Rostelecom”.

That Sanoma is able to sell its assets in Russia, became known in 2013, a year before the adoption of the amendments to the media law, which limited foreign participation in the capital of the Russian media at 20% from 2016. In October 2013 the company announced plans to reorganize the business and to focus “on more structurally attractive markets.”

In Russia in addition to “Fashion press” Sanoma also owned shares in the publisher of the newspaper “Vedomosti” (sold his stake to the former General Director of “Kommersant” Demyan Kudryavtsev).

As reported, Hearst Shkulev Media has led the ownership structure in compliance with the new law: now the Russian partner owns 80% of the company (before and V. Hearst Shkulev owned business on a parity basis).