Time Warner deepens its bet on Central European growth

By Emerging Money>,

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Multinational conglomerates are still moving to capture growth opportunities in emerging markets. Time Warner's decision to invest another $60 million in CETV demonstrates this emerging media interest. Central European Media Enterprises ( CETV , quote ) is primarily listed in Prague but also available in ADR form for U.S.-based traders. The company is one of the most interesting media names in Central Europe -- its broadcast TV channels cover an area from the Czech Republic down into the Balkans all the way down to Bulgaria -- and its business has made definitive improvements in recent months. Ad revenue surged 9% last quarter, which is nice growth in the otherwise fairly mature European media sector. That growth is almost certainly what Time Warner ( TWX , quote ) is looking to grab here. TWX already owned 31% of CETV, paying $241 million for it almost exactly two years ago. Today's announcement of an extra 3.1 million-share buy at slightly above market price raises the ante -- and the TWX stake in the company -- to 34.4%.

View the full CETV chart at Wikinvest

As yet, TWX is contractually not able to seek outright operational control of CETV until 2013. But this deal will give the U.S. giant 47% of the voting shares, so a deeper move into Central Europe media down the road is almost assured here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: CETV , TWX

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