October 14, 2004
CETV To Open NASDAQ Today
Central European Media Enterprises is ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of is stock listing. CETV is a unique play on the development of Central and Eastern Europe economies. Below are excerpts from comments by Ronald Lauder and Michael Garin, CETV's most senior executives. These comments succinctly capture the broad rationale for Northlake's interst in CETV shares....
Ronald S. Lauder commented, "The fall of the Berlin Wall unleashed a tremendous thirst for freedom of choice across many aspects of post-Communist life, including news, entertainment and consumer products. We viewed this as an extraordinary opportunity to build early-stage leadership positions in these young commercial media markets. With the support of the public markets, we were able to make our vision a reality, and in so doing, we contributed to the transformation of life and commerce in the region. As we approach a new decade, we are in an outstanding strategic position to benefit from the economic growth and political development across our markets. Today, we acknowledge the role that the capital markets played in CME's development and thank our investors for their invaluable support."
One of the fastest growing media companies in the world, CME is recognized as an early pioneer in the development of commercial television broadcasting and advertising in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1993, CME was formed with the goal of establishing locally branded television franchises in post- Communist countries concurrent with their transition to advertiser-supported media marketplaces. The Company completed an Initial Public Offering in 1994, and with the support of its investors, implemented a strategy that called for entering developing markets early, forging strategic alliances with experienced local partners, educating potential advertisers and delivering the highest quality local and international programming. For millions of viewers, CME's networks represented their first exposure to independent news and entertainment programming, after decades of television that was limited to government-controlled content. Following a decade of growth and investment in the region, no other media company is better positioned to take advantage of the continued growth of consumer spending and commercial advertising in Central and Eastern Europe.
Michael Garin commented: "The long-term outlook for our markets is exceptional. The expansion of the European Union has supported increased stability and economic growth in the region, with direct foreign investment on the rise. Local and international advertisers are increasingly utilizing commercial television to establish their brands and market their products and services to consumers in the region. And, viewers are benefiting from the increased news and entertainment content choices we deliver to them through free over-the-air television. Given our leading market shares, solid balance sheet and excellent relationships with our local partners, we are ideally positioned to take advantage of these trends and to continue to post strong financial returns for our shareholders."
Posted by Steve Birenberg at October 14, 2004 07:14 AM