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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Potanin Bids for Rambler Control

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin is seeking control of Rambler Media, which runs Russia's second-biggest Internet search engine, to tap growth in Internet advertising in Russia.

PM Invest Company, which is part of Potanin's Prof-Media holding, acquired about 48.8 percent of Rambler's ordinary shares, the Moscow-based company said today in a regulatory statement. PM Invest also applied to the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to buy a further 6 percent of Rambler that has been acquired by Endicott Holdings.

"Internet is the fastest-growing business and has the best prospects,'' Prof-Media spokesman Konstantin Vorontsov said. "We are the only diversified media company in Russia which has an online business."

Prof-Media, a company with $240 million in sales last year including from newspapers, magazines, radio stations and cinema production, recently agreed to buy Rambler TV for $23 million to expand the coverage of its 2x2 startup television channel.

Rambler shares rose 1.2 percent to $31.25 in London, valuing the company at $469 million.

Vorontsov declined to say how much Prof-Media paid for the stake. He said there were no plans to buy more shares once Prof-Media consolidated a controlling stake or to change Rambler's management. Rambler CEO Irina Gofman was not immediately available for comment.