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October 12, 2017
Following the agreement to acquire the Croatian media portfolio owned by CME (NASDAQ: CETV), a strong commitment to support local content and local production is made
Investment in local content and production is seen as the best line of defense against the rapidly increasing disruption in the broadcasting market with new technologies and new business models reshaping the entire industry.
London, 12 October 2017 - United Group, owned by leading US investment firm KKR and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD"), earlier announced the agreement to acquire the Croatian media portfolio owned by CME (NASDAQ: CETV). The transaction is subject to the relevant regulatory approvals.
Today, KKR-owned United Group confirms its firm commitment, not only to maintain and develop Nova TV as a separately managed company, established in Croatia but also to further build and expand the local production capabilities and to step up investments into own content in Croatia.
Jean-Pierre Saad, Board Member of United Group and Director at KKR said: "The broadcasting industry is going through a significant transformation globally and Croatia is not immune to those trends. This is driven by changing consumption habits including on-demand viewing, OTT and user generated content all of which expected to be available ubiquitously anywhere and on any device. This development, and the lower distribution costs through OTT models, have created many new, powerful and global industry players. This digital transformation of the television industry is a reality in Croatia today given the availability of fast broadband, 4G/LTE mobile networks and widespread English language skills of the population. To compete with global platforms, local TV operators have to step up the investments into their own content which will need to match international quality standards. We are looking forward to building and expanding the local production capabilities of Nova TV and stepping up the investments into its own content."
KKR has a strong track record of supporting media and telecom businesses to grow further in the current digital ecosystem. KKR has invested over $8bn in Telecoms, Media and Digital sectors globally and has particular expertise in supporting businesses grow and develop in the digital age. Since 1996, KKR has invested in 58 companies across sectors in Europe, representing over $20 billion in invested long-term capital, as of 31st March 2017.
From 2006 to 2014, KKR has been the leading investor in Germany behind ProSiebenSat.1, supporting the development of the company into Germany's leading free TV company, including the operation of a Digital Entertainment platform , a Digital Ventures & Commerce platform and an adjacent business unit active in
KKR made its investment in United Group primarily through its third European fund.