Report: CEFC and Penta bid US$2bn for CME

Chinese energy and finance firm CEFC and Eastern European investment group Penta have reportedly submitted a joint bid for Central European Media Enterprises (CME).

According to a Reuters report, pricing for the bid has not yet been finalised but could be worth around US$2 billion.

CME is part owned by Time Warner and operates 27 television channels across Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and the Slovak Republic, which it claims reach more than 40 million people.

In July CME agreed to sell its top broadcast operations in Croatia and Slovenia for €230 million, in what it described as a “transformational moment” for the company.

It sold commercial networks Nova TV in Croatia and Pop TV in Slovenia to United Group subsidiary Slovenia Broadband and said it would use the cash purchase price to repay a €250.8 term loan that is due in 2018, thereby reducing its debt and cutting its average borrowing rate by more than a third.

Reuters reported that Time Warner has a 42.4% stake in CME but on a fully diluted basis has a 75% interest, based on warrants exercisable until May 2018 and preferred share holdings.

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