CME Selling Off TV Assets in Slovenia, Croatia


Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has agreed to sell its broadcast operations in Croatia and Slovenia to Slovenia Broadband, a subsidiary of United Group.

United Group, backed by the U.S. investment firm KKR and the EBRD, will become the owner of such channels as Nova TV and POP TV. The cash purchase price of €230 million ($262.1 million) is subject to customary working capital adjustments.

Michael Del Nin, co-CEO of CME, commented: “This represents a transformational moment in the history of CME. We have always had a great set of assets, and this transaction underscores the enduring attractiveness of broadcasters in the region. It also moves us significantly closer to our long-held goal of establishing a more appropriate leverage profile for our operations. Once closed, the cash proceeds from this sale will greatly accelerate our plans for debt reduction, lowering our net leverage ratio by about one turn, cutting our current average borrowing rate by more than a third, and helping us to save over $30 million in annual interest costs.”

Christoph Mainusch, CME’s co-CEO, added: “We are very proud of these well-run businesses in Croatia and Slovenia, and the people working there whose efforts have made the channels consistent market leaders. We are firm believers in the importance of television as a medium and plan to continue operating television stations with scale in a more focused footprint of our largest markets. We were pleased that the United Group, majority-owned by the U.S. investment firm KKR and backed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, shares our outlook for local content on television and we believe they will be excellent stewards of these important businesses in the region going forward.”