Czech Billionaire Kellner Acquired Nova TV
The Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG) has sold the Nova Broadcasting Group to the Czech PPF Group, both sides said on Monday. The company, which is under the control of billionaire Petr Kellner, specializes in banking and financial services, but also in telecoms, real estate and biotechnology.
It operates on a number of European markets, in Russia, as well as in the US and Asia. Its assets are worth 35 billion euros. PPF is expected to acquire the Bulgarian telecom branch of the Norwegian Telenor together with its business in Serbia and Montenegro, and it is even possible to add the Hungarian operator. If Kellner acquires Telenor Bulgaria, which is currently the only one of the mobile operators that does not offer TV and media services, there is likely to be a combination of the two types of business for expansion in the media and telecom market.
MTG has sold 95 percent of its shares in the Bulgarian media group, and PPF has acquired the remaining 5 percent of Eastern European Media Holdings, the Czech group said in a statement.
The total value of the transaction is 185 million euros, which is well below the price at which MTG bought Nova TV in 2008. The Swedish company then paid EUR 620 million for the cable channel "New +" and 80% for the magazine " Eva ", owned by the Greek" Antenna Group.
Before that, MTG owned only the Diema TV channel. The Swedish seller points out that the funds from the deal in Bulgaria will be invested in the Scandinavian entertainment business of the group, in studios and global digital business. "Nova" is the largest media group in Bulgaria and consists of seven television channels and 19 online companies, which together generated 100m euros in revenues for 2017 and 19.7m euros in operating profit for Nova in 2017. The television had 151.8m leva revenue in 2016. The group employs 650 people, "said MTG.
"We have built the Nova to the number one media group in Bulgaria with a 33% market share in the audience and the owner of some of the best digital brands in the country. With the excellent leadership of Didier Stoessel and his management team, Nova quickly became the leader in digital entertainment and I would like to thank everyone who made this possible. MTG's investments are focused on the development of our Scandinavian entertainment studios and global digital verticals, which is why we have found a new home for our Bulgarian employees with a partner to invest in the future of Nova, said in a statement Jörgen Lindemann, president and CEO of the Swedish company, adding that the deal should be approved by the regulators and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018
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