Media learns about intention of businessman Lebedev to sell London’s TV channel

Media learns about intention of businessman Lebedev to sell London’s TV channel
Photo: RBC

According to The Guardian, Evgeny Lebedev - who is along with his father Aleksander an owner of a Great Britain’s newspaper Independent and a tabloid Evening Standart - is intent on refusing from his TV channel London Live TV due to its unprofitableness.

Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev who owns Great Britain’s newspapers Independent and Evening Standart is negotiating on sale of his media asset - a TV channel London Live TV, reports The Guardian with reference to unidentified sources.

6 years ago, Evgeny and his father Aleksander Lebedev (according to Forbes, his fortune is estimated at $400 million and he is ranked 188th on the list of Russia’s richest businessmen) who is a publisher of Independent, won a tender for license for the city’s first channel. Then, this license was considered the most profitable in the TV broadcasting market.

Initially, the Lebedevs expected the TV channel that is being backed by the newspaper Evening Standart to increase profitability of their media portfolio. However, the asset turned out to be the ‘financial hole’ for the Russian entrepreneurs’ business. London Live TV was expected to become bankrupt in 2017. The TV channel has never generated any profits for the Lebedevs. As of today, the losses of the TV channel are £30 million (almost $39 million).

According to The Guardian, Lebedev is negotiating the possible sale of London Live TV with That Media that owns licenses of 20 local British TV-channels. It is the media holding that aims to create a network of regional TV-channels of Great Britain.

Besides that, Lebedev discussed the possible sale of London Live TV with a CEO of local television of a franchising operator Made Television and a former Executive Director of a publisher of Daily and Sunday Mirror David Montgomery. The Guardian does not indicate the amount of the bargain.

Representative of London Live TV refused to comment the possibility of sale of the TV channel, having argued that the TV channel “does not discuss the private business issues in public.”

Tags: UK Oligarchs
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