MOSCOW: Rambler Media, which owns the third-largest Russian-language search engine, revealed this week it has sold a controlling 51% stake in its advertising unit Index20 to Video International Group – a local company with close ties to WPP Group.

The deal strengthens the existing strategic partnership between Rambler and VIG, whose subsidiary IMHO VI sells interactive ads on Rambler web properties. The newly acquired stake will be held by IMHO VI.

The terms of the deal guarantee Index20 a minimum of $40 million (€25.62m; £20.23m) in advertising revenues for 2008. That guarantee rises to $60 million for 2009 and $90 million for 2010. 

Whoops IMHO VI president Arsen Revazov: "We are very excited that this acquisition creates a basis for synergies between IMHO VI and Index20 and that it will strengthen Video International's share in the Russian advertising market on the Internet."

Data sourced from Moscow Times; additional content by WARC staff