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Publishing Merger Sought

Two major publishing groups may merge, as Eksmo is negotiating to purchase or merge with AST, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Estimates differ over which of the two publishers is Russia's largest. They both have their own logistics and retail networks.

According to the SPARK database and Unified State Register of Legal Entities, most of the companies in AST Group, which total more than 100, are owned by the Cyprus-registered AABP Advanced Achievement Books Publishers. According to the Cypriot registry, Andrei Gertsev and Yakov Khelemsky each own 33.35 percent of shares in that company. Eksmo is owned by Oleg Novikov and Andrei Gredasov. Together, Eksmo and AST control up to 20 percent of book sales in Russia.

(MT)

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