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CEFC, Penta make joint bid for Time Warner's Central European Media at around $2 bln -sources

From Reuters - December 19, 2017

PRAGUE/NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Chinas CEFC group and eastern Europes Penta Investments have made a joint bid for Time Warners Central European Media Enterprises (CME) , while Petr Kellners PPF has dropped out of contention, sources said.

Two sources familiar with the matter said CEFC and Czech-Slovak financial group Penta have submitted a joint bid for the central European broadcaster, which could be worth around $2 billion but pricing has not yet been finalised. A third source said the sides were nearing a deal although details were not finalised.

PPF, a financial group owned by Kellner, the Czech Republics richest person, is no longer in the bidding for CME , according to two of the sources, making CEFC/Penta the last remaining bidder.

Penta and PPF declined to comment while a spokesman for CEFC in China did not respond to a request for comment. CEFCs Prague spokesman declined to comment when asked about a bid.

A spokesman for Time Warner declined to comment.

CME, listed on the Nasdaq and in Prague, operates in six central and eastern European markets, with the Czech Republic and Romania its biggest profit drivers.

CME holds a heavy debt load of around $1 billion. Its market capitalisation was $637.8 million at Mondays market close.

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