Time Warner, Discovery Are Among Bidders for TVN, CEO Says

Discovery Communications Inc. and Time Warner Inc. are among more than a dozen companies seeking to buy a majority stake in Poland’s second-largest television network, TVN SA, TVN Chief Executive Officer Markus Tellenbach said.

The Polish company plans to shortlist bidders next week and the owners, Vivendi SA and ITI Group, may “identify” the buyer in the first quarter next year, Tellenbach said at a Warsaw news conference today. He declined to name other investors, who according to a report in Puls Biznesu, had until Nov. 24 to place non-binding bids for the 51 percent holding.

In October, TVN majority owners said they were considering a sale of their controlling stake in the broadcaster after being contacted by potential buyers. Discovery last month said it is considering bidding for assets in Poland and Australia to help expand internationally.

TVN, whose earnings were eroded by the costs of bond refinancing, asset writedowns and a slowdown in the advertising market, expects sales to rise from 5 percent to 9 percent in 2015 and 2016, compared with a “low-single digit” pace of growth seen this year.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will rise to 520 million zloty ($155 million) this year from 506 million zloty in 2013 as the country’s stronger economic growth helps the ad market, the Warsaw-based company said in a regulatory statement on Nov. 18.

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are advising TVN shareholders in a review that’s at an early stage.

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