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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metromedia Sells Off Peterstar Assets

WASHINGTON -- Metromedia International Group, which two years ago began selling media assets in Eastern Europe to avoid bankruptcy, will sell its stake in Peterstar for $215 million to erase the last piece of debt from the company's balance sheet.

The 71 percent interest in Peterstar, a phone company in St. Petersburg, will be bought by Luxembourg's First National Holding and Switzerland's Emergent Telecom Ventures, Metromedia said.

Metromedia, of which billionaire John Kluge owns about 18 percent and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has almost 10 percent, will use money from the sale to retire $152 million in bonds, making the company debt free. Metromedia, which had about $41 million in cash as of September, warned in 2003 that it might have to file for bankruptcy.

Metromedia's main business after the sale will be telephone and cable television services in Georgia. The company also has a small radio station in Hungary.