Ukraine’s richest man closes media company ‘in refusal to be an oligarch’

Image: SARYMSAKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com

THE richest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov, said he has been forced to close his media company System Capital Management (SCM) and insists he will not be “an oligarch.”

Rinat Akhmetov, the 607th richest person in the world, said on Monday, July 11 that he has had to ‘withdraw his investment in SCM and will give the company up “in favour of the State of Ukraine.”

“I made a forced decision to withdraw my investment company SCM from the media business,” Akhmetov said.

“This week, Media Group Ukraine will give up all broadcast and satellite television licenses of our channels and licenses of our print media in Ukraine in favour of the state. We will also stop the activities of the online media of MSU.

“This decision was dictated by the entry into force of the law “On prevention of threats to national security associated with the excessive influence of persons who have significant economic and political weight in public life (oligarchs),” he said.

He added: “As the largest private investor in the economy of Ukraine, I have repeatedly said that I was not, am not and will not be an oligarch.

“The short six-month period defined by the law for the sale of media assets and the Russian military aggression against Ukraine does not allow the SCM company to sell the media business on market terms.”

Akhmetov said that “for more than 20 years, starting in 2000, together with journalists, we have created a media holding based on the principles of freedom of speech, truth and professionalism, consisting of 10 broadcast and satellite television channels, Internet resources, print media and a modern production media ecosystem.

“The total amount of investments invested in this media holding exceeded 1.5 billion dollars,” he added.

The 55-year-old thanked the journalists who he worked with. “The biggest investment is the contribution of each of the 4,000 journalists and employees of our media team. Thanks to your work, the channels “Ukraine” and “Ukraine 24” became the leaders in Ukraine in terms of viewership, and the channels of the “Football” group gathered millions of fans in front of the screens.

“Therefore it is difficult for me to make a decision about leaving the media business,” Akhmetov concluded.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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