United Group has received the final regulatory approval for its subsidiary Slovenia Broadband to buy CME’s assets in Croatia.
The transaction is now expected to be completed on July 31. However, the sale of CME’s assets in Slovenia, announced at that same time as those in Croatia in July 2017, has still to be approved by the authorities in Slovenia.
The cash purchase price for Nova TV in Croatia is €85 million plus a still-to-be-finalised working adjustment, while that for CME’s operations in Slovenia is €145 million, again plus a working adjustment. In the latter’s case, the long stop date has been extended to September 13.
Commenting on the development, Michael Del Nin, CME’s co-CEO, said: “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, CME’s other co-CEO, 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.”
Following then closure of both sales, CME will continue to have TV interests in Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.