News Corp CEE pullout takes shape

Details are beginning to emerge of News Corp’s possible exit strategy from Central and Eastern Europe.

Reports in Bulgaria say the company is likely to put the national commercial station bTV up for sale for at least $800 million (€505 million), with confirmation of the sale being given by Viki Politova, the station’s MD.

It has also been reported in Bulgaria that the Greek company Antenna Group may sell up to 30% of Nova TV, Bulgaria’s second largest national commercial station, while the US investment company CME may step into the Bulgarian market by buying the cable channel TV2 for €120 million.

Only last week News Corp asked Lehman Brothers to look into its assets in Central and Eastern Europe. Besides bTV, they include LNT and TV5 in Latvia, Fox Televizija in Serbia and TV Puls in Poland.