Kolomoisky injects 100 million dollars in CME

Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky will invest 100 million dollars the Ukrainian operations of Central European Media Enterprises, the parent company of PRO TV, CME said.
Kolomoisky also agreed on a contribution of 100% of the TET channel into Studio 1+1 Group.

Kolomoisky will become a 49% shareholder in CME's Ukrainian operations. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2009, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

Kolomoisky has also granted CME a put option to sell its 51% interest to him for a price of $300 million in cash. The put option can be exercised for one year from the closing of the transaction.

Adrian Sarbu (photo), President and COO of CME, commented: “I am very pleased with our extended partnership with Igor Kolomoisky which will enable us to continue developing our operations in Ukraine and will add further to our liquidity.”

I’ve been working with Igor since 2007 and I have great respect for his in-depth knowledge of Ukraine. This investment confirms our view that Ukraine will be a powerful growth engine for CME in the future.”

The American group expects its operations to return profit no sooner than 2011, following the recovery of the advertising industry.

“Considering factors such as writedowns or fluctuation of currency exchange rates, we expect to go back on profit in 2011. We see a recovery by year-end in some of the markets we operate, and for the others, we expect the recovery to take hold in 2010”, said Adrian Sarbu.

CME broadcaster, which operates in seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Czech Republic and Romania suffered narrowed advertising expenses, in the context of current economic climate. The company’s revenues dropped 37% in first quarter, CME posting net losses of 44.4 million dollars, versus 14.4 bn dollars a year earlier.

CME is listed at NASDAQ and Prague Stock Exchange under the symbol CETV.

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