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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alpha Set To Launch Media Arm

In keeping with recent trends, Alpha Group, one of Russia's biggest financial institutions, is set to announce the creation of a new media holding, Alpha TV, next week.

The new conglomerate is the result of lengthy negotiations between Alpha Group, the U.S.-owned StoryFirst Communications, which runs the CTC television network in Russia, and Sergei Lisovsky's Premier SV -- one of Russia's top advertising companies.

Vladimir Grigoriev, vice president of Premier SV, said Thursday that the new holding will include all types of media outlets -- television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

The new venture follows recent trends in Russia's media scene, which has seen the formation of several powerful holding companies during the past year. Media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky, the Moscow city government and the federal government have all established their own independent electronic media holdings.

Grigoriev said because of Alpha's strong presence in the financial markets, the new company should find it easier to secure loans from Western banks to purchase equipment. He said the holding will eventually launch new broadcasting outlets.

"It is a merger of groups that compliment each other," Grigoriev said.

Grigoriev said the new company is a result of a long personal friendship between leaders of the banking group and Premier SV, which operates entertainment channels MuzTV and Channel 31.

He could not disclose, however, the structure of the new holding but said that distribution of shares between the parties will be different in each outlet.

Media sources said that CTC has been seeking backing from a major Russian financial institution since last summer.

Alpha Group refused to comment on the deal until the official announcement next week.