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Broadcaster CME selling Croatian, Slovenian stations to cut debt

Staff Writer |
Central European Media Enterprises (CME) announced that it has agreed to sell its broadcast operations in Croatia (Nova TV) and in Slovenia (POP TV) to Slovenia Broadband, a subsidiary of United Group, subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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The transaction is expected to close by year-end.

Cash purchase price is €230 million (approximately $262.5 million), subject to customary working capital adjustments.

The combined OIBDA for Nova TV and POP TV for the twelve months ended March 31, 2017 was $13.8 million.

Proceeds will be used to repay the €250.8 million term loan due 2018, which based on our results from the period ended March 31, 2017 would have reduced CME’s net leverage ratio from 6.3 times to 5.1 times.

CME's current average borrowing cost is expected to decrease 275 basis points to 4.5% upon repayment of the 2018 term loan following closing of the transaction.

Accretive to CME’s OIBDA margin as well as free cash flow, since the cash generated by the Slovenian and Croatian operations will be more than offset by estimated savings of at least $30.0 million of interest costs annually.

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