The Ukrainian businessman, Vitaly Kropachev, bought the company "Corona-Sunrise", which was a co-owner of "Channel 4". This TV channel belongs to the MP and collaborator Oleksiy Kovalov, who is in the occupied Kherson oblast and even got a position in the local "government".
Such information is contained in state registers and was confirmed by Taras Borovskyi, general director of Channel 4, in a comment to Babel.
Recently, the company "Corona-Sunrise" has changed several owners. Initially, it was owned by the company "Interradio", the owner of which was Kovalev. A week ago, the company "Corona-Sunrise" became the property of the former owner Maksym Varlamov. As Borovsky explained, the TV channel owed tens of millions of dollars to Varlamov, and Varlamov agreed to get the “Corona-Sunrise” company back as repayment of the debt. After that, he sold it to Kropachev.
In 2021, Interradio acquired Korona-Sunrise, which at that time owned the license for the Vintage channel. After the purchase, the frequency of this channel began to say "Channel 4". However, Borovsky emphasizes that the sale of “Corona-Sunrise” does not mean that Kropachev received this license. According to him, it belongs to "Interradio".
At the same time, when asked whether it was possible to pay off salary debts due to the sale of Corona-Sunrise, Borovsky explained that if there is such an opportunity, he will definitely do it. He reminded that Kovalevʼs assets are currently under arrest.
"However, I havenʼt seen the arrest warrant yet, I donʼt know what exactly was arrested. We will receive a small amount of money for this sale, and if there is such an opportunity and they are not arrested, it will be used to pay salaries," Borovsky clarified.
According to "Babel", it is not excluded that over time the property of the TV channel will be transferred to the Asset Management and Search Agency (AMSA).
Who is Vitaly Kropachev?
The Ukrainian businessman in the field of energy, as well as engineering, transport, gas and coal mining. He heads the company "Ukrdoninvest". In 2019, Kropachev entered the list of the 100 richest Ukrainians for the first time, his fortune was then estimated at $101 million. The following year, he took 96th place with a fortune of $86 million, and from 2021 he dropped out of the ranking.
Investigative journalists made stories about Kropachev several times. For example, in 2018, the publication "Our money with Denis Bigus" wrote about coal mines, the permits for which were obtained from companies associated with Kropachev. In 2014-2019, the media called Kropachev a "watcher" of coal mines. The businessman himself has repeatedly shown interest in acquiring Centernergo, which may end up at a privatization auction.
In addition, Kropachev is also the owner of media projects. In 2019, he acquired several local TV channels: Info 24, TVi and Pogoda. And at the end of 2021, he became the owner of Era Production, which has a broadcasting license that allows the broadcasting of TV channels in digital over-the-air broadcasting, having only one of the three licenses mentioned below: satellite broadcasting, OTT broadcasting or analog-over-the-air broadcasting in the city of Kyiv and the oblast.