UMH group

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United Media Holding group
HeadquartersKyiv, Ukraine
Key people
ProductsMagazines, internet websites, radio
Number of employees

UMH group (United Media Holding group) is an international multimedia group. It controls the portfolio of over 50 brands with leading positions in Internet, radio and press markets covering news, politics, business, sports, fashion, celebrity and TV niches. The portfolio includes over a dozen own and license media brands, main of them being Forbes Ukraine and Vogue Ukraine (there is a strategic agreement concluded with Conde Nast publishers that allows UMH group develop a number of projects within the territory of Ukraine).

UMH ranks 15 among largest media companies that operate within former soviet republics.[1]

The company’s stock was placed on Frankfurt Stock Exchange. UMH group is WAN-IFRA member.

History of the company[edit]

The holding was founded in late 1990s by Boris Lozhkin who remains till year 2014 its president and principal shareholder[2] on the basis of “Telenedelya” (“TV week”) newspaper (has been published since 1994, in 2013 it joined top ten largest printed media brands within ex-Soviet area, is the leader among celebrity niche media in Ukraine and ranks sixth by readership volumes in CIS countries).

1995 through 1998 the company was actively developing in the segment of tabloids and sports publications. Licenses for such famous brands as “Argumenty i Fakty” (“Arguments and facts”) and “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (“Komsomol truth”) were bought and “Football” magazine was launched. In mere six years over a dozen successful media projects appeared in the structure of UMH and growth dynamics helped the company become the major player in Ukrainian media market. In 2000 UMH group became a multimedia structure when first radio station joined the project portfolio. In two more years there was another one and in 2004 radio group already accounted for 4 network stations. Currently there are 7 stations in the group as well as the niche leading channel “Menu TV” purchased in 2008. UMH radio group is one of the two major actors in Ukrainian radio market.

In 2000 UMH group became a multimedia structure when first radio station joined the project portfolio. In two more years there was another one and in 2004 radio group already accounted for 4 network stations. Currently there are 7 stations in the group as well as the niche leading channel “Menu TV” purchased in 2008. UMH radio group is one of the two major actors in Ukrainian radio market.

In 2003 UMH entered Russian market. In a couple of years Russian unit of the company – “Populyarnaya pressa” (“Popular press”) publishing house –built one of the broadest regional networks with divisions in 30 cities. Today the company ranks among the top 10 Russia’s publishing houses[3] and controls 8 brands. Total circulation of the publishers’ publications in Russia constitutes 42.5 million copies.[4]

Given rapid development of digital technologies, Internet became an important priority of the UMH group business development. By dint of projects purchase as well as development of own ones the company formed the portfolio of over 15 projects. In terms of reach UMH group ranks among top five companies that operate in Ukrainian market, the list also includes such international corporations as Google, Mail.Ru and Yandex.[5]

In 2008 UMH group was the first Ukrainian media company to carry out private stocks placement on Frankfurt Stock Exchange[6] gaining 45 million US Dollars against 15% of stocks and achieving capitalization of $300 million. Ukrainian investment group Concorde Capital performed the role of the exclusive financial advisor and facilitator of the stock placement.

In 2010 the president of UMH group Boris Lozhkin concluded strategic agreements with well-known American publishing houses Forbes Media and Conde Nast that allowed publishing in Ukraine of Forbes (published since 2011[7]), Vogue Ukraine (first edition was issued in early 2013[8]) and other magazines.

In 2011 UMH group initiated carrying out of the 64th World Newspaper Congress in Kyiv. President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych delivered the salutatory speech during the event that took place in August 2011.[9]

In June 2013 Boris Lozhkin announced the deal of selling 98% of UMH group stocks to VETEK group of companies. The new owner became Serhiy Kurchenko.[10] Expert estimation of the transaction value in 2013 published in the press constitutes $450–500 million.[11] According to estimations, sale of UMH group ranks among the top 10 largest M&A deals of the first semester of 2013. In the total list the UMH transaction ranks fourth.[12]

In December 2017 Kyiv's Pecherskyi District Court seized the corporate and intellectual rights along with part of the real estate owned by the holding.[10] According to court the assets are related to the crimes committed by former President Yanukovych and are involved in misappropriation of property or embezzlement via abuse of office by an organized group, as well as money laundering.[10] Owner Serhiy Kurchenko left Ukraine in February 2014 following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted President Yanukovych and his current whereabouts are unknown.[13][14][15] Since the following month Kurchenko has been on the international wanted list.[16] Since then his property and other assets have been arrested.[16]


Target markets of the company are adult Russian-speaking population of the former Soviet republics that constitutes about 155 million persons where the company currently covers 12% of the audience which is 18.6 million persons.[17]

Head office of the holding company is situated in Kyiv. Office of the “Popularnaya pressa” publisher’s house is situated in Moscow. There are offices and representations in 43 Ukrainian and Russian cities. 4400 employees currently work in the company in both Ukraine and Russia.

Activity indicators[edit]

At year-end 2012 net earnings constituted 151,6 million US Dollars, EBITDA and net profit – 28,7 and 16.3 million US Dollars respectively.[18]

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue 88 472 112 586 137 637 151 648
EBITDA 6 340 15 381 20 500 28 726
Net profit - 5 087 1 236 3 434 16 336

Media Assets[edit]

Internet and digital:




  1. ^ "Top 25 largest media companies in the CIS". RBC ratings.
  2. ^ "UMH group, Board of Directors". UMH group. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The largest Russian media companies".
  4. ^ "UMH group, Business in Russia". UMH group, official site.
  5. ^ "UMH Group, SCM and KP Media Unite Internet Portals".
  6. ^ "Sleeping Beauty and Bread Crumbs". The Ukrainian Week.
  7. ^ "Forbes Signs Deal to Launch Forbes Ukraine in First Quarter 2011".
  8. ^ "Ukraine's UMH Group to Publish Local Vogue Edition".
  9. ^ "The 64th world newspaper Congress - 19th World Forum of Editors".
  10. ^ a b c Kyiv's court rules to seize fugitive oligarch Kurchenko's UMH assets, UNIAN (28 December 2017)
  11. ^ "The gas king turned media mogul". The Economist. 2013-06-28.
  12. ^ "Top 10 M&A deals in Ukraine for the first half of 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  13. ^ "EU imposes assets freeze on Yanukovich and 'family'". Financial Times. 6 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Russia's Rosneft might buy Ukraine's Odessa refinery". Reuters. 3 March 2014.
  15. ^ Ukraine accuses Russia of breaking CIS agreements over Yanukovych extradition, Interfax-Ukraine (12 January 2015)
  16. ^ a b Court grants prosecutor's request for Ukrainian fugitive businessman Kurchenko's arrest, Interfax-Ukraine (5 January 2017)
  17. ^ "UMH group. Our business".
  18. ^ "UMH group. Financial indicators for 2012".
  19. ^ "Радиостанция переходит в тестовый режим работы". November 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Vladimir, Kondrashov (February 10, 2020). "Холдинг Курченка втрачає активи: "Наше радіо" переходить під управління холдингу TAVR Media". NV.