Ukraine Court Rejects Tycoon Appeal For TV Channel

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Wednesday from a Ukrainian businessman that he was entitled to a 70 percent stake in television channel Studio 1+1, local media reported.

Alexander Rodnyansky

Studio 1+1 is controlled by television broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME), which in turn is controlled by U.S. cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder.

The channel has been plagued for more than a year by a legal battle between tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky and filmmaker Alexander Rodnyansky, who is effectively the custodian for CME of a 60 percent financial stake in Studio 1+1.

Kolomoisky, the owner of Privat financial and industrial group, said he had an oral agreement to buy a 70 percent stake in the studio.

The channel denied the deal had been agreed.

"I am very happy justice was done. This decision upholds the law and confirms our legal position," Boris Fuksman, a representative of Studio 1+1, told Telekritika Website.

Kolomoisky's representatives were not immediately available for comment. CME said it had a longstanding binding agreement that entitled it to a 60 percent stake in Studio 1+1.

Its partners own the remaining 40 percent. CME also owns 18 percent of a company that holds the broadcasting licence for Studio 1+1.

Lauder's CME owns TV operations in six central and eastern European countries.

Source: Reuters