June 18, 2008, 9:29 p.m. |
ustify>Wealth: $6.55 billion
Wealth last year: $3.82 billion
Field of Activity: Ferroalloys, finances, oil products, mass media
Ihor Kolomoysky is fond of buying up mass media outlets. He purchased 3 percent of the shares of the Central European Media Enterprises for $110 million and entered the board of directors of this large international media corporation majority owned by US billionaire Ronald S. Lauder.
In Ukraine, this media group controls one of the top television channels, Studio 1+1, as well as Kino and City channels. Kolomoysky also got stronger by buying, from brothers Hryhoriy and Igor Surkis, 50 percent of the shares of TET TV channel.
The Dnipropetrovsk businessman’s assets are controlled by Glavred media holding, which owns Information Agency UNIAN, the weekly magazine Profile, newspapers Novaya Gazeta and Gazeta po-Kievsky. In addition, his key business partner, Gennadiy Bogolyubov (#4) has a stake in Focus magazine and in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
In several short years, the so-called Privat financial-industrial group has become rich in media assets. Why, one might ask? For the sake of publicity of their owners? Hardly. Quite simply, it’s because Kolomoysky’s rivals in the top 50 have sharp teeth and media assets of their own. Victor Pinchuk (#2) is armed with newspaper Fakty and three national TV channels, not counting the musical M1 and M2 channels (Novy Channel, STB and ICTV). Interpipe's owner Pinchuk used these media weapons against Kolomoysky during their epic battle over the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant.
Rinat Akhmetov (#1), in addition to the daily newspaper Segodnya, has a personal megaphone in TRK Ukraine television channel. The double-barreled media gun is always ready to blast away at the Dnipropetrovsk businessman, who is in a state of permanent war with the Donetsk businessman. Normal people use the telephone to talk with each other. But, Ukraine’s multibillionaires acquire TV channels to protect themselves. Such are the rules of big business in Ukraine.