Prague - Billionaires Petr Kellner and Pavel Tykac are in talks about buying media group CME which controls, among other things, Czech private television station Nova, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.
Televize Nova představila 19. března novinářům nové studio nejsledovanějšího zpravodajského pořadu Televizní noviny. Základem nového studia je posuvný multimediální stůl, velká zakřivená projekční stěna a interaktivní dotyková obrazovka. ČTK TV Nova
The daily adds that Kellner and Tykac want to keep only Nova and sell the other televisions.
Kellner and Tykac have not officially confirmed their interest in CME.
Nova is not up for sale. If a potential investor wants to succeed, it has to present an offer for the purchase of the whole group to CME´s principal shareholder - US company Time Warner.
The price could climb up to $1.5bn - $1.7bn (Kc30bn - Kc34bn), the daily says. The potential new owner would in reality pay only a half of the amount because CME´s debts are worth some $870m, the daily notes.
Kellner´s and Tykac´s people have met with Time Warner´s reps several times in London, MfD adds.
No agreement has yet been reached but the names of investors interested in the televisions that CME owns in other countries are already known, the daily says.
For example, CME cooperator and adviser Kasimir Gergov would like to acquire Bulgarian television bTV and CME´s former CEO Adrian Sarbu could buy Romanian television stations.
There are also investors interested in Slovak television Markiza and Slovenian television Pop. Kellner and Tykac would have to find a buyer only for the television in Croatia.
Speculations earlier appeared that Andrej Babis, who owns publishing house Mafra, could be interested to buy Nova, as could Daniel Kretinsky and group J&T which has acquired publishing house Ringier Axel Springer.
The entrepreneurs officially deny they are interested in the acquisition and CME keeps silence as well. Its spokesman Marek Kobal said the group had never commented market speculations.
Media company Central European Media Enterprises (CME) cut net loss by some one half to $281.5m (Kc5.6bn) last year but its revenues dropped by a tenth to $691m (Kc13.76bn).
In the Czech Republic, CME´s revenues sank by some 30 percent to $191.8m and OIBDA, which does not include write-offs of assets and losses from cuts in the value of assets, occurred in a $11.3m loss after a $106.3m profit in the previous year.
Company CET 21, which holds broadcasting licences for television stations Nova, Nova Cinema, Nova Sport, Fanda, Smichov and Telka, is also a part of CME.