09.25 Europe/London, August 25, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Liberty Global has acquired a 40% stake in the leading Bosnian free-to-air broadcaster OBN through its international content company Chellomedia for an undisclosed fee.

According to Liberty, the investment will allow Chellomedia’s operations in Central Europe (Chello Central Europe) to create a hub for launching additional pay channels as the infrastructure develops.

It will also allow the company to benefit from expected growth in the local advertising market.

Chello Central Europe currently has a portfolio of 13 channels, including Minimax, Sport 1 and Spektrum, as well as an ad sales business named At Media.

Sarajevo-based OBN was launched by the Office of the High Representative and EU in 1996 and became privately owned four years later, when it was acquired by the Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Caleta, the former owner of Nova TV.

Reaching 82% of the country, it claims a 25% share of both the TV audience and ad market in Bosnia.