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AT&T to sell majority stake in CME for $1.1B.

AT&T announced that it has agreed to the terms of a transaction in which Central European Media Enterprises, or CME, will be acquired by an affiliate of the Czech investment firm PPF Group N.V., or PPF. CME, which has broadcast operations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, announced in early 2019 that it was conducting a review of strategic options, including a potential sale of part or all of the company. Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will receive approximately $1.1B in cash at close and will also be relieved of a $575M debt guarantee. The sale is consistent with AT&T's plans to monetize non-strategic assets as it continues to pay down debt. Given the company's 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 Q4 of 2019, along with continued de-levering. AT&T acquired its stake in CME with the acquisition of Time Warner, now WarnerMedia, in 2018. PPF's acquisition of CME is expected to be completed during Q2 of 2020, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

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Publication:The Fly
Date:Oct 27, 2019
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