Bermuda-based TV company Central European Media Enterprises (CME) is to acquire MediaPro Entertainment, from MediaPro Management and MediaPro BV.
Romania-based MediaPro Entertainment produces and distributes TV fiction and films and also owns MediaPro Studios, outside of Bucharest, one of the largest studio/production facilities in Central and Eastern Europe.
CME will pay $10m in cash and 2.2m CME shares. MediaPro Mangement and MediaPro BV will also get the right to buy up to 850,000 CME shares at $21.75 per share, and CME will take over $35.6 million in debt.
MediaPro president and chief operating officer Adrian Sarbu has been named chief executive of CME.
Ronald Lauder, Non-Executive Chairman and founder of CME, said: “In the last 20 years Adrian has built MediaPro Entertainment into a Hollywood style production and distribution business, unique in Central and Eastern Europe. This acquisition provides our stations with a proven source of content and allows us to further diversify our revenue streams.”
CME said it plans to integrate its existing TV production units with MediaPro Entertainment, and to leverage new content revenue streams as a vertically integrated company.
Sarbu added: “Consolidation of all our content assets in CME will help us to optimise our overall costs, improve the quality of our products, leverage our local talent resources and create new revenue streams.”
MediaPro’s Bucharest production facilities have seen many footloose feature productions. Picturesque Films’ Bunraku, Gold Circle’s Town Creek and Films 13’s Claude Lelouch project Ces amours là have all shot there in recent years. It has also hosted several productions for the Sci-Fi Channel, including Sand Serpents, Hellhounds and Rise Of The Gargoyle.
MediaPro acquired a 50.1% stake in London-based film distributor Metrodome in May 2008, a move which appeared to signal its intent to grow its footprint in Europe.