KyivPost

Sources: American sells leading Ukrainian media group

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April 1, 2011, 12:10 p.m. | Business — by Kyiv Post Staff

Kyiv Post Staff

American Jed Sunden has reached a deal to sell his majority stake in KP Media, a leading Ukrainian media organization that publishes Korrespondent magazine and korrespondent.net, according to informed sources. All requested anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about the sale.

It remains unclear who will become KPMedia's new owner, but one informed source claims a businessman who ranks as one of Ukraine’s richest individuals is likely involved. The new owners would likely have to come forward soon to ensure Korrespondent’s reputation as an independent news source.

Sunden, who has been entertaining offers to sell his company for years, was not immediately available for comment about whether an agreement had been reached. But several sources close to the company confirmed that an agreement had been reached to sell the company.

Everyone reached by the Kyiv Post said they did not know the new owner’s identity.

Sunden first came to Ukraine in the early 1990s to study Russian and went on to launch the Kyiv Post, the nation’s first English-language newspaper, in 1995. From that launching pad, Sunden was able to build up a media company that included some of the nation’s most popular news sources.

Sunden went heavily into the Internet news business in the early 2000s, starting BigMir.net and korrespondent.net. He later launched Korrespondent magazine in and free publications such as 15 Minutes.

But Sunden and other media owners got hit hard by the 2008 global economic crisis, which saw advertising plummet. Consequently, Sunden in 2009 sold the Kyiv Post to the ISTIL Group, the holding company of Mohammad Zahoor, a British national who was born in Pakistan. Under Zahoor’s ownership, the Kyiv Post has expanded, launching kyivpost.ua in July, featuring news in Ukrainian and Russian languages, not only in English.

After the crisis, Sunden also sold or closed a number of other publications, including 15 Minutes, Pink magazine, Pani and Novynar.

If it is confirmed that Sunden sold KP Media, the transaction would mark his exit from Ukraine’s media business.

A minority stake in the company is owned by portfolio investors.

Vitaliy Gorduz, new executive director of KP Media, referred calls to Sunden.

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The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous April 1, 2011, 3:35 p.m.    

A ten year old could do a better job for April 1 than this. Just shows the intellectual level of you Banderistas who yearn for the days of Chmelnicki the murderer.

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Anonymous April 1, 2011, 3:51 p.m.    

Jed was claiming that KP was worth $80 million back in '07.

Today, nobody would buy it for more than a few million. Still, that is a lot better than nothing...

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Anonymous April 2, 2011, 2:21 p.m.    

The CIA is bankrupt

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