PPF Group has announced that its fully owned subsidiaries have completed the acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises CME).
PPF now holds full control of CME’s operations in the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. This transaction was subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission, national regulators in certain countries, and CME shareholders. Shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and Prague Stock Exchange have been delisted and now cease to exist following the completion of the acquisition. Holders of CME’s Class A Common Shares immediately prior to the effective time of the merger will receive $4.58 per share.
“We are driven by a sense of responsibility given CME’s past achievements with these TV networks. We want to build on those successes and on the position that these networks occupy in their respective markets as independent broadcasters. We are looking forward to creating new business opportunities between media operations and telecommunication services. Finally, we are pleased to have such a strong and loyal audience and intend to strengthen the relationship with our viewers through content and a superior user experience,” said Petr Kellner, PPF majority shareholder.
Effective immediately, Didier Stoessel will assume the position of chief executive officer at CME, responsible for the Czech, Romanian, Slovak, and Slovenian markets. CME says that Stoessel brings with him extensive strategic and senior management experience in media, technology, and global finance having previously worked for Modern Times Group, HSBC Investment Bank, and Merrill Lynch International.
Lubos Jetmar has been named CEO CME Bulgaria responsible for operations, strategy, and growth development plans in Bulgaria.
“We have acquired a well-managed company with exceptional consumer reach and outstanding brand awareness, and I look forward to working with the excellent management at our TV stations. My priority is to accelerate the digital transformation of the business, increase our content creation capabilities, and continue the CME legacy by providing independent and objective news as well as high-quality entertainment for our viewers,” commented Stoessel.
CME operates television stations in the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria and is one of the leading media and entertainment companies in Central and Eastern Europe. CME broadcasts 30 television channels, both free and paid, and reaches a total of 45 million viewers.