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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/19/1997

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Paper Up in Arms Over Impending Share Sale

The chief editor of the popular liberal daily Komsomolskaya Pravda said Tuesday he worries that a plan to sell 20 percent of the newspaper's shares to Uneximbank might threaten the paper's independence. The board of directors of the paper, in which employees hold a majority stake, decided last week to sell 20 percent of the newspaper's stock to the bank. Shareholders originally approved sale of the 20 percent stake to the state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom, but that deal was never completed. Valeri Simonov, chief editor of Komsomolskaya Pravda, said on Echo Moscow radio Tuesday that the sale to Uneximbank was negotiated without the knowledge of the editorial board and the staff. He said the editorial board plans to take the case to court. Simonov also suggested that Uneximbank already was quietly buying up shares in the paper by offering ""large sums of money"" to journalists for their shares.

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