Central European Media Surges on Report Kellner in Talks to Buy

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. rose the most this month after a newspaper reported three Czech businessmen including billionaire Petr Kellner are in takeover talks with majority shareholder Time Warner Inc.

The shares of CME, as the company is known, jumped as much as 12 percent and traded up 7.6 percent to 55.9 koruna by 10:52 a.m. in Prague, the biggest gain since March 31. Volume of trading was more than double the three-month daily average.

Time Warner has repeatedly met representatives of Kellner, Pavel Tykac and Jan Dienstl, who seek to jointly acquire the unprofitable CME, Czech newspaper Dnes reported today, citing two unidentified people with knowledge of the discussions. Kellner’s PPF Group NV, an investment company, said in an e-mailed statement it isn’t in talks to buy CME or its flagship Czech TV station Nova.

“Although the article could have a short-term positive impact on the stock, we consider the likelihood of the transaction low,” Pavel Ryska, an analyst at J&T Banka AS in Prague, said in e-mailed comments. “Speculation about the interest of financial groups in TV Nova had appeared earlier.”

CME recorded a net loss of $278 million in 2013, with the company remaining in the red for a third consecutive year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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