Central Federal District of the Russian Federation
Meleshko Alexey Efremovich
The Prime agency performs collecting and dissemination of operational financial and economic information from the Russian President Administration, the Government of the Russian Federation, Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, FFMS, the Russian and foreign banks, the largest financial companies and industrial enterprises. The agency has own bureaus in St. Petersburg (Prime-Tass the Northwest) and Minsk (Prime-Tass Belarus).
The prime is large information and analytical center. The agency releases a broad spectrum of information publications: news online, state-of-the-art reviews, databases, specialized thematic bulletins and also actively conducts developments in information technology field. In particular, the agency creates a number of the information trading systems: the software for the securities trading, a complex of programs for the organization of biddings in the FOREX market, the terminal for trade on MICEX.
In 2009 revenue under RAS of AEI Prime-Tass Ltd made 176.1 million rubles, profit — 4.66 million rubles.
1993: Foundation of the Prime agency
In 1993 the private news agency "PRIME" is founded.
1996: Creation of Prime-Tass
In 1996 based on "PRAYMA" the economic agency "Prime-Tass" which 35 percent belonged to ITAR-TASS was created.
Rumors about sale of the agency in RIA Novosti
In March, 2011 became knownthat state RIA Novosti can become the main owner of Prime-Tass news agency. $5 million can pay RIA Novosti for 65% of shares of the agency which now top managers own and "Evrofinance to Mosnarbank".
RIA Novosti conduct negotiations on acquisition of a packet "Evrofinance of Mosnarbank" in Prime-Tass Business News Agency Ltd, several market participants told Kommersant and confirmed a source in RIA Novosti.
35% in authorized capital of Prime-Tass belong to Federal State Unitary Enterprise ITAR-TASS, on 5% at top managers Oleg Ananyev, Alexey Meleshko and Leonid Vorontsov. Remained 50% structures "Evrofinance of Mosnarbank" own. An exit of structures of Evrofinance from among shareholders of Prime-Tass is really discussed, the CEO of the agency Oleg Ananyev confirmed to Kommersant.
The source close to Evrofinance specified that the bank was never a shareholder of Prime-Tass, and acted only as the consultant of a number of private shareholders. Really, Prime-Tass in the list of affiliates of JSC JSB Evrofinance Mosnarbank does not appear, Group Evrofinance LLC (specified in base of SPARK-Interfax as one of co-owners of Prime-Tass) was liquidated in 2009.
Together with Evrofinance also top managers of the agency can sell the packets. 65% of Prime-Tass are estimated approximately at $5 million, one of interlocutors of Kommersant assures. In 2009 revenue under RAS of AEI Prime-Tass Ltd made 176.1 million rubles, profit — 4.66 million rubles. For comparison: revenue of RIA Novosti for the same year exceeded 600 million rubles at net loss of 1.277 billion rubles.
RIA Novosti does not take the share of Prime-Tass, the First Deputy Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Maxim Filimonov insists. "It is interesting to us to work with one of the oldest players in the market of financial information, but no more than that" — mister Filimonov assures. He explains that RIA have very difficult form of business — federal state unitary enterprise that excludes a possibility of simple acquisition of stocks of other companies. But in the legislation there is no prohibition for federal state unitary enterprises on commission of similar transactions if only it is specially not stated in the charter. It is important only that property acquisition including money for purchase of shares of other organizations, did not deprive of federal state unitary enterprise of an opportunity to perform the activity for which it was created, the lawyer "Yukov, Hrenov and partners" Anna Burdina explains.
If the transaction takes place, it will not change alignment of forces in the market of news agencies in which largest players are Interfax and RIA Novosti, the CEO of ID Komsomolskaya Pravda Vladimir Sungorkin is sure. "For us any news agencies have no that defining value any more as a few years ago — he explains. — In modern information space the subscription for their films allows to win against competitors no more than 20 minutes".
Interfax skeptically estimates possible gain of the main competitor. Acquisition of Prime-Tass does not keep within the strategy of RIA Novosti to be guided by the end consumer and public services, the chief executive of service of financial and economic information of Interfax Yury Pogorely considers. According to him, transition of Prime-Tass to new owners will not strengthen the competition in the market. "If earlier activity of the agency was supported by ITAR-TASS, then now it will do RIA Novosti" — he considers.
RIA Novosti purchases Prime-Tass
In May, 2011 according to solutions of the carried-out extraordinary general shareholder meeting AEI PRIME-TASS Ltd, the agency will return itself the name "PRIME". Quite so it was called from the moment of the foundation in 1993 and till 1996 when based on assets and correspondent network "PRAYMA" the PRIME-TASS agency which shareholder was ITAR-TASS agency with a packet in 35% was created.
The address of the website of the company and log till 2011: prime-tass.ru
Change of the name with Prime. Rebranding
In June, 2011 the PRIME-TASS business news agency became known changes the name and carries out rebranding. Rebranding is caused by what autonomous nonprofit organization "AG "News of Moscow" entering into RIA Novosti media holding acquired control over 65% of shares of PRIME-TASS Business News Agency Ltd.
Fully the procedure of rebranding is going to be finished until the end of 2011. Integration of editorial processes of AEI "PRIME" and RIA Novosti will take place in several stages. The first stage connected with renaming of the agency is almost complete. New documents will be signed on behalf of AEI PRIME Ltd after completion of state registration of changes in the charter. All agreements and agreements which are earlier signed by PRIME-TASS and also former obligations of the agency will continue to work without restrictions. Besides, for AEI "PRIME" there are all trademarks and domain names registered earlier on PRIME-TASS.
According to Filimonov, in the coming months of PRIME will undertake production of the main part of economic information which will be used in products of both agencies. It is supposed that the editorial PRIME commands and RIA Novosti which are engaged in preparation of business information now will be united in one editorial collective and are consolidated based on AEI "PRIME". It is in the future going to transfer PRIME to a technology platform of production of news, uniform with RIA Novosti, as much as possible to unify editorial processes and to increase synergy effect of joint work of two agencies.
Closing of regional offices
Since September 22, 2011 more than two tens regional offices of Prime news Agency stopped the existence. Told Marker a source in news agency about it. On Thursday September 22 all regional correspondents received the letter from the Moscow edition without printings by e-mail notifying them on a rupture of labor relations. "Ladies and gentlemen! From now on we were disconnected from the system of RIA Novosti. On it nice regional edition "Prime" stopped the existence" — the message said. The fees promised to send to the correspondents who lost work on October 12-14.
According to the source Marker in the editorial office of news agency, the decision to close regional a corset was made by the management of RIA Novosti. Bureaus in regions decided to abolish as RIA has own network of correspondents in the cities of Russia, now these employees will write also for Prime. "Someone from regional journalists of Prime was transferred to RIA, but these are units. All others are dismissed" — reported a source. It is known that the editor regional a corset Boris Polukhin saved the place in Prime.
Collage © Eduard Katykhin, Marker.ru
RIA claim that dismissals will not affect the most part regional a corset. "Most of correspondents of regional network "Prayma" passes to work into correspondent network RIA, and the head of regional network "Prayma" becomes the first deputy head of regional edition RIA", - the First Deputy Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Maxim Filimonov told Marker. "The Prayma network merges with RIA Novosti network as the corset in regions is service division in relation to all divisions entering into group of RIA. The joint regional network RIA Novosti, including correspondents both RIA, and PRAYMA, will work not only for needs of both agencies. The same will happen also to the international network which will work for all divisions of group", - he notes.
2012: Project closure of BIT of Prime-Tass
The Prime-Tass BIT agency released a news feed "Business Informatization of Telecommunication" (BIT of Prime-Tass)