Time Warner Looks Ahead in Central European Media Investment (CETV, TWX)

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (NASDAQ: CETV) issued a statement this morning that the Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) investment closed.  It is usually hard to know if the seller or the buyer gets the better deal depending upon the market and a myriad of other factosr, but in this case it seems that Time Warner is looking ahead of the game.

In the financing, Time Warner got 19 million shares of common stock, broken up as 15.5 million “A” shares at $12.00 per share and 4.5 million “B” shares at $15.00 per share.  More importantly, the investment represented roughly a 31% interest for a total cash consideration of $241.5 million.

Where this gets interesting is in how much Central European Media has risen since the terms were agreed to.  Those headlines were on March 23, and shares were at up a large 45% at $14.50 on that day’s close.  The stock has backed off of highs from the last five days, but at the beginning of March this was under the $10.00 mark.  After an 8% gain this morning, Central European Media shares are up around the $19.00 mark.

Time Warner is allowing founder Ronald Lauder to vote their shares for a period of at least four years with certain exceptions.

The difference between the “A” and “B” shares is dependent upon how you value different share classes and their voting rights and where they sit in the pecking order.  But so far it seems that Time Warner’s investment here is so far getting off to a great start if share prices are indicative of successful investing.

This was also followed by a fresh round of stock options for insiders and directors with an exercise price of $17.52.  The real details will be in subsequent SEC filings with all the details laid out.

Central European Media has a 52-week trading range of $4.67 to $107.19.