CTC Buys 20% of Kazakh TV Firm

Entertainment television company CTC Media said Friday that it signed a deal to buy a 20 percent stake in Channel 31, Kazakhstan's fourth-largest television network by audience share.

Under the deal, CTC Media will also have majority ownership positions in Channel 31's affiliate companies, which will provide the advertising sales function and programming content for Channel 31, the company said in a statement.

CTC said the total value of the deal would amount to $65 million. It expects the deal to close in the first quarter.

"We are pleased with our progress in Kazakhstan and are excited about the opportunity this market presents," chief executive Alexander Rodnyansky said.

He said CTC would focus on young viewers, who account for almost half of the total Kazakh television audience.

The company, 40 percent owned by Sweden's Modern Times Group, operates the CTC and Domashny channels and is Russia's largest television network outside direct or indirect state control.