Ukraine's wealthiest businessman Rinat Akhmetov has announced that he made an "involuntary" decision that his investment company SCM will exit its media business.
"This week Media Group Ukraine will surrender for the benefit of the State all Ukrainian licenses of our television channels for terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, as well as print media licenses. We shall also cease operations of MGU’s online media," SCM said in a statement published on its website.
It explained that this decision is driven by entering into force of the Law of Ukraine On Preventing Threats to National Security Associated with Excessive Influence by Persons Who Wield Significant Economic and Political Weight in Public Life (Oligarchs). "Being the largest private investor in the Ukrainian economy, I have repeatedly stated that I have never been and am not going to be an oligarch. A short six-month term provided for by the Law for the sale of media assets, coupled with the Russian military aggression against Ukraine make it impossible for SCM to sell its media business on market terms," it quoted Akhmetov as saying.
"During the course of more than 20 years, beginning in 2000, we and the journalists together have built a media holding that is based on the principles of freedom of speech, truth and professionalism. It includes 10 terrestrial and satellite TV channels, online resources, print media and a modern media production ecosystem. We have invested more than US$1.5 billion in our media business," he said before thanking the employees and viewers.