Банкеръ Weekly



The American company UnitedGlobalCom Inc. (UGC) of Denver announced its European content subsidiary, chellomedia, has bought an 87.5-percent interest in Zone Vision Networks from its shareholders, including investment fund Advent International Corp. , which is also owner of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC). Zone Vision owns, manages and distributes pay TV channels. It owns and operates three thematic channels - Reality TV, Europa Europa and Romantica - which are popular in Bulgaria as well. They are broadcasted in 18 languages and reach about 135 million subscribers in 125 countries. The company also represents the Discovery and Animal Planet channels, the music channels VH-1 and MTV, etc. in some countries of Central and Eastern Europe and on several other continents. In Bulgaria Zone Vision represents also the US news giant CNN.Total consideration for the transaction amounted to $50 million in cash and $15 million in UGC stock. The stock is subject to a five-year vesting period. As part of the transaction chellomedia will also contribute to Zone Vision the 49% shareholding it already holds in Reality TV Ltd. and chellomedia's Club channel business. Zone Vision's Bulgarian representation told the BANKER weekly that the deal would not influence the company's policy in the country and its agreement with local cable operators.

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