Pan regional broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has acquired control of CEE producer and distributor MediaPro, which was founded by CME boss Adrian Sarbu.
The broadcaster has paid US$10 million and 2.2 million CME shares (valued at around US$50 million) for the company, which it previously owned around 10% of.
MediaPro, which produces around 500 hours of TV programming per year, was founded by Sarbu over 20 years ago. Sarbu has also just been promoted from president and chief operating officer of the company to chief executive following the departure of Michael Garin last year.
This move comes as CME, which Time Warner recently took a 31% stake in, has been restructuring its production businesses to create regional production units as it looks to boost its current output of around 28,000 hours of original content per year. It will integrate its existing drama and reality production units with MediaPro to create one dedicated content division.
Petr Dvorak, senior VP, broadcasting, CME, recently told TBIvision that the company was looking to boost its distribution, with the help of its sibling company US studio Warner Bros. “The next step is distribution. I think after the economic crisis we may try to sell our fiction and non-fiction formats abroad. There is a good chance to distribute them through Time Warner, which is an investor in CME,” he says.