CME grabs stake in Bulgarian stations

Pays $172 mil for TV2, Ring TV stakes

LONDON -- Nasdaq-listed TV company Central European Media Enterprises has paid $172 million for an 80% stake in two Bulgarian TV stations, national commercial broadcaster TV2 and sports channel Ring TV, it said Tuesday.

Bermuda-based CME, in which British private equity house Apax Partners owns a 50% stake, hopes to be the country's market leader in five years time, chief operating officer Adrian Sarbu said, pointing to Bulgaria's television advertising market that is expected to grow by 20% next year.