East-West Digital News 11 June 2012
AFK Sistema, a Russian LSE-listed holding, announced last week that it has invested in Stream.ru, a paid video content portal formerly known as Omlet.ru. Stream.ru was launched in 2009 by MTS, a Sistema subsidiary and a leading Russian mobile operator.
With a reported investment of 496 million rubles ($15 million), Sistema now owns 55% of the company, while the MTS stake has shrunk to 45%. Sistema Mass Media, a separate AFK subsidiary set up to produce and distribute content, will take on day-to-day management of Stream, the new investor said.
Following its rebranding, Stream.ru needs new funds and expertise to gain a firm foothold on Russia’s vast video and audio content playground – this is how MTS president Andrey Dubovskov explained the long-awaited move, adding that with the newly adopted roadmap for Stream’s development, MTS will retain influence on its asset.