Czech billionaire takes control over private broadcaster TV Markíza

Petr Kellner bought the entire CME group that operates television stations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The private TV Markíza resides in the Záhorská Bystrica borough of Bratislava.The private TV Markíza resides in the Záhorská Bystrica borough of Bratislava.(Source: Sme - Gabriel Kuchta)

Slovak private broadcaster TV Markíza will have a new owner.

It will be taken over by the Czech PPF group, which signed an agreement with Central European Media Enterprises to acquire its current owner, CME, the ČTK newswire reported on October 27.

CME operates television stations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the CME shareholders, the European Commission, and national regulators in certain countries where CME is active, PPF stated in a press release.

ČTK estimated the transaction is worth $2.1 billion.

No significant changes planned

Related articleCzech billionaire reportedly interested in purchasing TV Markíza Read more 

“The acquisition of CME with its media assets in five European countries will complement and further strengthen our telecommunications operations in central and eastern Europe,” said Petr Kellner, majority shareholder of PPF, as quoted in a press release.

His company plans to leverage the natural synergies between the creation of content and its distribution with the objective of further developing our telecommunications and media businesses.

“CME is a healthy and well-run organisation, and we do not intend to make any significant changes to its operations,” Kellner added.

Approval necessary

CME will now convene an extraordinary meeting of shareholders for approval of the proposed merger. At the same time, the EC and national regulators will be addressed and asked to approve the transaction.

It is expected that the approval process will last several months, the press release reads.

BNP Paribas and Société Générale acted as Structuring Advisors to PPF on the acquisition facilities. The €1.150 billion facilities have been fully underwritten by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole CIB, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Société Générale and UniCredit.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc is serving as sole financial advisor and White & Case LLP is serving as legal advisor to PPF.

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