CME Owner Petr Kellner Killed in Helicopter Crash


    PRAGUE: Billionaire and owner of Central European Media Enterprises (CME) Petr Kellner died in a helicopter crash in Alaska on 27 March 2021. Kellner, the wealthiest person in the Czech Republic with an estimated net worth of 19 bn USD, had purchased CME in October 2020.

    The purchase had been viewed with skepticism over whether the TV media company would be able to maintain its independence. The company has not released earnings reports since the purchase was completed on 13 October 2020. CME operates 30 TV stations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and is one of the largest media companies in the CEE region.

    Kellner was born in 1964 in a small city near the German and Polish borders. He founded PPF investment company in 1991, making his fortune in the insurance industry. In 2007, he was named to the board of directors of CME and held a 3 percent stake in the company. He and his wife Renata Kellnerova established a charitable foundation in 2009. His company PPF Group has donated a large amount of supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including testing kits and masks.

    Kellner was killed along with four others while on a helicopter skiing trip near an Alaskan glacier. His survivors include his wife and four children.