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IFC Invests in Russian Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Company

Washington, D.C., April 7, 2004 —The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has recently concluded agreements with Independent Network Television Holding, the parent company of TV3 Russia to invest $7.0 million, jointly with existing shareholders, who will provide $5.0 million. The $12.0 million debt and equity financing is part of TV3 Russia’s plan to expand its distribution capabilities and to enhance its program offering.
TV3 Russia is a rapidly growing independent terrestrial television broadcaster that currently reaches close to 45 million people through nine owned and operated stations and more than 50 affiliated stations throughout the Russian Federation.  As part of its expansion strategy, TV3 Russia, which focuses on movies and other entertainment-related content, plans to expand its broadcast infrastructure and provide its viewers with a wider range of family-oriented entertainment content.  
Mohsen Khalil, Director of IFC’s Global Information and Communication Technologies Department, said, “IFC’s involvement in this project will contribute to the development of independent private media in Russia, stimulate business growth in the advertising and broadcasting industries, and support the development of the country’s telecommunications sector.”  
Tim McDonald, TV3 Russia’s CEO noted, “TV3 Russia has reached a stage in its development when additional investment in infrastructure and programming will help the company accelerate its long-term growth.  The management and shareholders are excited about having IFC as a partner and look forward to working with IFC to take TV3 to the next level.”
The mission of IFC ( ) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
Russia joined IFC in 1993. Since then IFC has invested over $1.3 billion to finance nearly 70 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC significantly increased its investment program in Russia in the last two years, investing $217 million in FY02 (July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2002) and nearly $500 million this fiscal year. IFC’s increased activity reflects the improving investment climate in Russia, greater opportunities in an increasingly broad range of sectors, and stronger foreign investor interest.