Russian billionaire to rescue Setanta

SPORTS broadcaster Setanta has been rescued by Russian-American industrialist Len Blavatnik, who has offered to put up &pound;20m in return for a 51 per cent stake in the struggling business.<br /><br />Blavatnik&rsquo;s company, Access Industries confirmed that it had submitted an offer, which is subject to a &ldquo;number of pre-conditions&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;Access believes that this proposal would secure the future of the broadcaster for customers, football and employees,&rdquo; the group said. <br /><br />The eleventh-hour rescue-bid forms part of a larger refinancing deal aiming to secure the Irish pay-TV channel&rsquo;s future and enable it to meet its &pound;30m rights payment to the Premier League, due today. Endemol, the company behind Big Brother, is understood to also be in talks with the Setanta board, as are&nbsp; holders of the payment-in-kind (PIK) notes which make up the bulk of Setanta&rsquo;s debt.<br /><br />Blavatnik made his billions from heavy industry but is also involved in pay-TV company Top-Up TV, which sells Setanta packages on the Freeview platform.