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News Corp agrees bTV sale with CME

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  • khurramdar
    • Jan 2010
    • 138

    News Corp agrees bTV sale with CME

    News Corp agrees bTV sale with CME
    Written by Rose Major
    Thursday, 18 February 2010 20:30
    News Corp is selling its interest in Bulgarian broadcaster bTV to Central European Media Enterprises (CME) for US$400 million, completing its eastern European free-to-air sell down plan.

    Three channels and a radio broadcaster are included in the deal – bTV, cable networks bTV Cinema and bTV Comedy and 74% of Radio Company C.J which operates a number of radio stations. The deal must be approved by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition and is expected to close in the second quarter.

    A statement from News Corp said: “This sale completes News Corporation's programme of exiting its substantial Eastern European free-to-air broadcasting businesses.”

    The company would seem to have no plans to sell Latvia’s TV Riga, its ownership of which it increased by 30% to 100% in May 2008.

    The US$400 million agreed is subject to adjustment in the event that actual working capital at completion differs from an agreed level of target working capital.

    Adrian Sarbu, President and CEO of CME, commented: “The acquisition of bTV is the next step in repositioning CME after the sale of our Ukrainian operations. We are now focused on building a highly profitable vertically integrated media company operating in the EU and EU accession countries. bTV greatly complements our portfolio of broadcasting assets. I am confident that we will be able to bring Bulgarian viewers an enhanced TV offer and deliver significant value for our shareholders.”

    CME has also agreed to acquire Top Tone Holdings’ 20% interest in CME’s Pro.BG business in consideration of a 6% interest in a newly created subsidiary that will hold the bTV business and Pro.BG businesses and the termination of the existing agreements in respect of the Pro.BG business.

    Top Tone Holdings will also have the right to acquire an additional 4% interest for up to three years from closing.

    © Rapid TV News 2010