Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME) is a Bermudan media and entertainment company operating in Central and Eastern Europe. A precursor to CME, Central European Development Corporation, was co-founded by Ronald Lauder and Mark Palmer in 1991. It was incorporated as CME in the Netherlands in 1991 and reincorporated when it changed its headquarters to Bermuda in 1994. The business is managed on a geographical basis, with continuing operations in four operating segments, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and the Slovak Republic, which are also the main operating countries. The company is listed on NASDAQ and Prague Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CETV.
Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. was originally incorporated in Germany as CEDC GmbH (Central European Development Corporation) in 1991. That same year it changed its name and reincorporated in the Netherlands as Central European Media Enterprises (CME). Objections brought by the Czech Republic over the legal distinguishing of the two corporations were rejected by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce as irrelevant.
CEDC GmbH's capital interests were all transferred to CME on July the 28th, 1994. CME moved its headquarters and reincorporated in Bermuda later that year.
CME is the broadcast market leader in every country where it has television stations. It started broadcasting its first channel in the Czech Republic in 1994. CME operates 27 television channels broadcasting to more than 40 million people across its four markets. CME develops and produces content for its television channels, and its content is also consumed through subscription- and advertising-based platforms.
On 23 March 2009, Time Warner announced that it would invest $241.5 million, for a 31% stake, in CME.
Two years later on 3 March 2011, Time Warner bought another 3.1 million shares taking its stake in CME up to 34.4% with around 47 percent of voting rights and a total of 22.1 million shares.
In July 2012 CME exercised its put option and Time Warner increased its economic interest in CME to 49.9%.
During the second quarter of 2013, Time Warner maintained its 49.9% voting interest during a public offering of CME Class A Shares, and additionally purchased 200,000 shares of Series B Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock in a private placement.
During a rights offering and private placement in 2014, Time Warner increased its economic ownership on a diluted basis to approximately 75%.
International financier Raymond Staples through his global investment firm, TMP Holdings, Inc. was one of the early investors in CETV stock.