Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky has invested $110 million (€80.7 million) to acquire an interest in broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (www.cetv-net.com), which operates TV networks in six Central and East European countries
The purchase of about 1.28 million shares represents about 3% of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company's stock and gives Kolomoisky a seat on the board of directors headed by Ronald Lauder. "CME is one of the fastest-growing and best-managed media companies in the world and represents an exceptional investment opportunity for me," Kolomoisky said in a company statement issued Aug. 30. "I look forward to working with my new board colleagues and the CME management team to build upon the CME success story at a time when prospects are so bright both in Ukraine and in the other markets in which the company operates." Kolomoisky is the leading partner in the Privat Group, an influential business group in Ukraine whose assets include steel, oil, chemical, energy and food industry companies in Ukraine, Russia, Romania and the United States as well as several Ukrainian media. He was recently listed by Poland's Wprost magazine as the East European region's richest non-Russian, with a personal fortune estimated at $2.8 billion. CME's television stations are located in Croatia (Nova TV), Czech Republic (TV Nova, Galaxie Sport), Romania (PRO TV, PRO TV International, Acasa, PRO Cinema and Sport.ro), Slovakia (Markiza, Galaxie Sport), Slovenia (POP TV, Kanal A) and Ukraine (Studio 1+1, Studio 1+1 International, Kino, Citi). CME is traded on the NASDAQ and the Prague Stock Exchange.