The deal also allows CEM to acquire bTV's two sister cable networks, bTV Cinema and bTV Comedy, and a 74 per cent stake in Radio Company CJ. The deal is likely to be completed in the second quarter, and is subject to approval by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition.
News Corp is keen to exit its substantial Eastern European free-to-air broadcasting business. CME will also acquire a 20 per cent stake from Top Tone Holdings in its own Pro.BG business in Bulgaria.
In return, CME is understood to give away 6 per cent interest in a newly created subsidiary that will hold the bTV and Pro-BG businesses, as well as the right to acquire an additional 4 per cent interest for a period up to three years from closing. CME agreed to sell its Ukrainian operations for $300m last month.