Czech PPF Group to Buy CME


    PRAGUE: PPF Group, a company whose majority share is held by the wealthiest man in the Czech Republic, has entered into an agreement to acquire Central European Media Enterprises (CME), the company that launched private, commercial television in Central Europe and was the winning plaintiff in an international court case against the Czech Republic.

    The cash transaction is valued at approximately 2.1 billion USD, CME said in an announcement that came out at the end of the business day on 27 October 2019. CME had announced on 25 March 2019 that it was exploring “strategic alternatives.”

    CME’s largest shareholder, AT&T, has said it will vote in favour of the transaction. The acquisition is expected to be completed in mid-2020.

    PPF was reported to be the last candidate still standing to purchase CME when third quarter earnings were announced earlier this month.

    CME operates 30 television channels in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. It trades on the Prague Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

    PPF Group owns assets exceeding 45 billion EUR. Petr Kellner, its majority shareholder, was ranked #88 on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people in 2018, with an estimated worth of 15.5 billion USD.