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Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- VimpelCom Ltd. slid to the lowest level in more than two months in New York trading as the mobile- phone provider appointed a television-network chief as the new head of its Russian unit.
American depositary receipts of VimpelCom slid for an eighth day, declining 1.2 percent to $9.49, the lowest closing price since Oct. 5.
Amsterdam-based VimpelCom named Anton Kudryashov, the former chief executive officer of CTC Media Inc., as head of its Russian subsidiary, the company said in a statement today. Russia’s second-biggest mobile-phone provider, VimpelCom merged with Italy’s Wind Telecom SpA this year and will decide in January whether to buy control of Euroset Holding NV, operator of Russia’s biggest mobile retailer, Elena Prokhorova, a Moscow- based spokeswoman, said on Dec. 9.
“It’s hard to see where he will take VimpelCom,” Anna Lepetukhina, an analyst at Troika Dialog, Russia’s oldest investment bank, said by phone from Moscow. “He is now leaving CTC Media with a string of problems, after cutting spending on their in-house production and losing audience share. On the top of that, he has no experience in telecoms.”
Kudryashov has been CEO of CTC Media since August 2008 and previously worked as a banker at Credit Suisse First Boston International and Moscow brokerage Renaissance Capital, where he was a founding partner, VimpelCom said in its statement today. From 2002 to 2003 he was restructuring CEO of NTV-Plus, a Russian digital satellite TV service, the filing said.
CTC Media Inc., the U.S.-listed Russian television network, gained 0.3 percent to $8.89 in the U.S.
The network’s audience share slid to 9.9 percent in the third quarter, from more than 11 percent in the five previous quarters, according to TNS Gallup Media data posted on CTC Media’s website. Net income fell 33 percent in the three months to Sept. 30 and the 2011 operating growth forecast was cut to 9 percent on Nov. 9, from an earlier estimate of 20 percent, because of slowing advertising demand. CTC Media planned to invest $25 million this year, according to third-quarter financial reports.
VimpelCom has sold $3.7 billion of bonds this year, the biggest Russian corporate debt issuer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Russian companies issued $43 billion of ruble-denominated and other currency debt in 2011, the data show.
Elena Shmatova, the current head of VimpelCom’s Russian unit, will move to the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands as group director of business control, development and mergers and acquisitions reporting to Chief Financial Officer Henk Van Dalen, according to today’s statement.
CTC Media Chief Financial Officer Boris Podolsky will stand in for Kudryashov until a permanent replacement is found, the Moscow-based company said in its filing. Petr Aven, the billionaire president of Russia’s Alfa Bank, will step down from CTC Media’s board to be replaced by Dmitri Lebedev, a former chairman of Bank Rossiya, according to a separate e-mailed statement.
--With assistance from Denis Maternovsky in Moscow and Leon Lazaroff in New York. Editors: Emma O’Brien, Glenn Kalinoski
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