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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deripaska Sells Cable TV Stake

Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska's holding company, Basic Element, has bought and sold a stake in National Cable Networks, or NKS, a Russian cable television company, a spokeswoman for Basic Element said Tuesday.

Basic Element bought a 25 percent stake in NKS from Delta Private Equity Partners and then sold the stake, together with an additional undisclosed amount of shares in NKS that it had already owned, to an unnamed third party, said the spokeswoman.

"Basic Element has bought a 25 percent stake from Delta, and then sold all shares of NKS it owned to a third party," she said. The spokeswoman did not say when the transactions took place or how much money changed hands.

Vedomosti quoted sources close to the deal as saying that Delta sold its stake to Basic Element at the end of July.

Delta managing director Kirill Dmitriyev told the paper that the company had received an offer it could not refuse, but gave no details.

Cable television penetration in Russia is much smaller than in Eastern Europe and has attracted investor interest.

NKS has 1.65 million subscribers in Russia, of whom 1.2 million are in St. Petersburg and 90,000 are in Moscow, Vedomosti said.

The four main companies currently offering satellite television services in Moscow are NTV Plus, Comcor, Kosmos and DIVO. It is also possible to view channels from Britain's Sky via a Russian-based British company.

Basic Element owns the world's No. 3 aluminum company, RusAl. Deripaska is one of Russia's richest men, estimated to be worth $8.3 billion.