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%.
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.