In a letter addressed to Steven T. Mnuchin, secretary, US Department of Justice, and William P. Barr, attorney general, US Department of Justice, he says that it should be looked at by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) as it “undercuts US national security interests related to Central and Eastern Europe, as well as to China”.
He adds that as a subsidiary of a US company, he believes that CME qualifies as a “US company” and meets the criteria for a CFIUS evaluation.
Rubio goes on to say that PPF Group and its CEO Petr Kellner “have a record of acting as China’s proxies in the Czech Republic”. Around a third of PPF Group’s profits come from subsidiary Home Credit’s individual lending business in China. As a result, “Mr Kellner and his companies have supported China’s malign influences abroad”.
Senator Rubio accuses Home Credit of hiring a PR firm to manipulate Czech opinion. He also says that “it has come to my attention that PPF has already used its expected acquisition of CME’s Czech media outlets to intimidate Czech media and politicians into silence”.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, last October PPF Group agreed to buy CME in a deal worth approximately $2.1 billion in cash.
CME is one of the largest and longest established commercial broadcasters in the CEE region, having launch its first station, TV Nova in the Czech Republic, in the early 1990s.