HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. ("CME") (NASDAQ/Prague Stock Exchange:CETV) today announced that United Group B.V. ("United Group") has received the final requisite regulatory approvals to complete the sale, previously announced on July 10, 2017, of our operations in Croatia ("Nova TV") to Slovenia Broadband S.a r.l., a subsidiary of the United Group. The transaction is expected to be completed on July 31, 2018. CME also previously announced on July 10, 2017 that it agreed to sell its operations in Slovenia to the United Group, and that transaction still remains subject to certain closing conditions, including receipt of Slovenian regulatory approval.
Highlights of today's announcement:
- The previously announced agreement to sell the Croatia and Slovenia operations was amended to allow closing of each business separately.
- The cash purchase price for Nova TV in Croatia is €85.0 million (approximately $99.1 million) plus a working capital adjustment, which is still to be finalized.
- Proceeds will be used to repay debt and related payables, including the remaining balance of the €40.8 million term loan due 2019, resulting in our nearest debt maturity being 2021.
- The remaining agreement to sell our operations in Slovenia for €145.0 million (approximately $169.0 million) plus any working capital adjustment, remains subject to certain closing conditions, including receipt of Slovenian regulatory approvals by United Group.
- We agreed to extend the long-stop date of the Slovenia transaction to September 13, 2018, and the parties continue working to satisfy the applicable closing conditions.
Michael Del Nin, Co-Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are extremely pleased to see the final approvals to complete the sale of our Croatian business, as it marks an important step towards the realization of our deleveraging goals. The proceeds will immediately be used to repay outstanding debt, completely retiring our nearest maturity and contributing to an approximately 25% reduction in total gross debt since the start of the year. We continue to cooperate with regulators in Slovenia to complete the sale of our operations there, and will use the proceeds expected on completion of that sale to reduce borrowings even further."
Christoph Mainusch, Co-Chief Executive Officer, added: "We sincerely thank the management team at Nova TV for their hard work over the years, building the business into the leading network in the country. Their expertise and experience will undoubtedly benefit the United Group as Nova TV continues its long-standing tradition of providing the most popular local content in Croatia."
CME is a media and entertainment company continuing to operate leading businesses in four Central and Eastern European markets with an aggregate population of more than 40 million people. CME's continuing operations broadcast 26 television channels in Bulgaria (bTV, bTV Cinema, bTV Comedy, bTV Action, bTV Lady and Ring), the Czech Republic (Nova, Nova 2, Nova Cinema, Nova Sport 1, Nova Sport 2, Nova International, Nova Action and Nova Gold), Romania (PRO TV, PRO 2, PRO X, PRO GOLD, PRO CINEMA, PRO TV International, MTV Romania and PRO TV Chisinau) and the Slovak Republic (TV Markíza, Markíza International, Doma and Dajto). CME is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and the Prague Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CETV”.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. For all forward-looking statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which cannot be predicted with accuracy or are otherwise beyond our control and some of which might not even be anticipated. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and because our business is subject to such risks and uncertainties, actual results, our strategic plan, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could differ materially from those described in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements.