May 2, 2012
Willkie Advises Time Warner on Latest Investment in CME
William H. Gump
, Thomas Mark
, William E. Hiller
On April 30, Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME) announced that it has entered into a series of agreements with its major shareholders, Time Warner Inc. and Ronald Lauder, to enable CME to fund tender offers to purchase its Senior Convertible Notes due in 2013, Senior Floating Rate Notes due 2014 and Senior Notes due 2016. Willkie advised Time Warner and its affiliates, which will provide CME with a loan facility of up to $300 million to be used by CME for the purpose of funding the purchase of the notes. Time Warner will also purchase at least 9.5 million Class A shares of CME for total of about $71.3 million, increasing its equity ownership in CME to 40%. In addition, Time Warner will have the option, under certain circumstances, to further increase its ownership to 49.9%. The transactions were widely reported in the press, including The Wall Street Journal.
CME is a media and entertainment company operating leading businesses in six Central and Eastern European markets with an aggregate population of approximately 50 million people. Willkie previously advised Time Warner in its $60.3 million and $242 million investments in CME in 2011 and 2009, respectively. The current deal was handled by partners William Gump, Thomas Mark and William Hiller, and associates Michael Gore and Christopher Giorgione.