Time Warner Closes $200 Million Further Investment in Eastern European Broadcaster

Jeff Bewkes

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes saw his 2012 pay remain pretty steady at $25.9 million. The company's stock rose around 30 percent last year, but his compensation was virtually unchanged. His stock awards amounted to $6.9 million, up from $6.1 million in 2011, but option awards declined from $3.96 million to $2.96 million.

The conglomerate owns 49.9 percent of Central European Media Enterprises, which operates networks in six Central and Eastern European markets.

BUDAPEST -- Time Warner, led by chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, has closed its latest investment in broadcasting group Central European Media Enterprises for $200 million.

In the deal, the conglomerate bought 200,000 preferred shares in the company.

Time Warner owns 49.9 percent of CME, which operates in six countries across Central and Eastern Europe. Its key TV assets include Czech commercial station TV Nova and Slovak station TV Markiza.

The $200 million Time Warner deal follows a recent $100 million public offering from CME. The Eastern European group has said it plans to use the proceeds from the two deals to repurchase or redeem outstanding debt, which is due in 2016.

CME is looking to cut its overall debt load of around $1 billion as advertising revenue in its key territories continues to slip. TW, which has continued to put money into CME, has said it expects the company to grow solidly once it overcomes its current challenges.

CME owns and runs TV Nova in the Czech Republic, TV Markiza in Slovakia and has stations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia.