Russia’s state-owned retail bank Sberbank is in talks to buy news and media group Rambler, although the rumors were denied by Sberbank and Rambler.
According to another leak, Sberbank may refinance Rambler’s loan at Trust, the government’s new “bad bank” that it took over in September 2017 mini-banking crisis.
Rambler Group includes internet holding Rambler & Co (Rambler.ru, Lenta.ru, Gazeta.ru, events magazine Afisha and others), the largest cinema chains in Russia – Cinema Park and Formula Kino (every 7th cinema in the country) and online cinema Okko (~17% market share and RUB1.38bn ($21mn) revenue in 2017).
“There are no financials for the group, so hard to estimate the business. [Russian financier] Alexander Mamut acquired 50% of Rambler in 2017 for $295mn, executing an option agreement with [Norisk Nickel owner] Vladimir Potanin concluded in 2013,” BCS said in a note.
Rambler is a relatively small business, but we do not see much strategic synergy in the acquistion. Refinancing loans at Trust bank could be negative for company, as bank consolidates bad debt,” BCS Global Markets said in a note.