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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blavatnik Plugs into Digital TV

LONDON -- Industrialist Len Blavatnik is expanding his media portfolio with a deal to buy Premium TV, which operates digital services for clients ranging from Chelsea football club to Warner Music, Blavatnik's Access Industries said Monday.

Access Industries said it had agreed to acquire the firm from PTV, a company managed by turnaround specialists Quest Turnaround Advisors.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the price was more than $50 million, a person familiar with the situation said.

Britain-based Premium TV hosts more than 150 web sites and says it is the largest streamer of live events in Europe, allowing viewers to see more than 8,000 of them a year.

It also recently signed a deal with British cable operator Virgin Media to produce broadband programming of British football matches.

When Quest took over the business in 2002 from Virgin's predecessor company, NTL, it had $61.5 million of liabilities and faltering deals with British football clubs. Premium TV is now profitable, Quest said.

"From here, with Access' strategic and financial backing, we aim to grow our international presence significantly," Premium TV CEO Oliver Slipper said.

The firms expect the deal to close at the end of July.

Access owns stakes in CTC Media, British pay-TV scheme Top Up TV, mobile messaging firm Acision and Warner Music.