William Malcolm

EU Approves PPF Acquisition Of CME

The European Commission approved PPF’s bid to take over Central European Media Enterprises (CME). The transaction should be completed on 13 October, according to CME.

CME includes television stations in five Central and Eastern European countries, including the Czech group Nova.

“The Commission concluded the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area,” the European Commission said in a statement.

CME signed an agreement with PPF Group subsidiaries last October, and its shareholders approved a takeover bid from PPF in February this year. The value of the transaction is about $2.1 billion. Approval from the European Commission was the last hurdle in completing the transaction.’

PPF confirmed that it expects the transaction to be completed on 13 October.

CME is one of the leading media and entertainment companies in Central and Eastern Europe. It broadcasts on 30 television channels, both in the free-to-air and pay-TV models, and reaches 45 million viewers. In the Czech Republic, CME includes CET 21, which holds licenses to broadcast TV stations Nova, Nova Cinema, Nova Sport, Nova 2, Nova Action, Nova Gold, and Nova International.

CME increased its operating profit by six percent last year. At constant exchange rates, it rose 11 percent to $ 187.3 million. The company also repaid a debt of 150 million euros. In the Czech Republic, CME increased its OIBDA operating profit by 7.4 percent to $ 101.6 million.
The American company AT&T owns 64 percent of the shares in CME. After accounting for preference shares, it controls up to 75 percent of the company, Reuters reported. AT&T acquired a stake in CME through a merger with media company Time Warner.

PPF Group, owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner invests in multiple industries, from banking and financial services to telecommunications, real estate, engineering, biotechnology, and insurance. PPF operates in Europe, Asia, and North America.