AT&T has agreed to sell its majority stake of Central European Media Enterprises (CME) for $1.1 billion to the Czech investment firm PPF Group N.V. The company has broadcast operations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. AT&T purchased stake in CME when it acquired Time Warner, which is now known as WarnerMedia.
Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will receive approximately $1.1 billion once the deal is closed. It will also be relieved of a $575 million debt guarantee. The sale falls in line with plans for AT&T to “monetize non-strategic assets as it continues to pay down debt.” The company said that “Given the confidence in reaching a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio in the 2.5x range by the end of this year, shareholders should expect that share buybacks will be in the mix in the fourth quarter of 2019, along with continued de-levering.”
The acquisition of CME is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2020, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.