CME closes US$300m Studio 1+1 deal

CME has closed a US$308m (€230m) deal for its loss-making Ukrainian stations Studio 1+ 1, Studio 1+1 International and Kino. The central and eastern Europe-focused broadcast group sold the channels to Harley Trading, which is owned by Ukrainian entrepreneur Igor Kolomoisky.

CME had upped its stake in Studio 1+1 in early 2008, paying investors including Kolomoisky US$219m. It received US$30m of the total of the new deal in February and the balance, plus US$8m of ongoing operating expenses, this week.

The Ukrainian broadcaster recorded revenues of US$66.7m in 2009 compared with US$80.7m in 2008. The 2009 EBIDTA loss was US$40.5m compared with US$34.8m in 2008.

CME said it will use the proceeds to fund its deal for bTV, which is expected to close this month. A US$400m deal for the Bulgarian free-to-air broadcaster, which was previously owned by News Corp, was announced in February.

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