CapMan managed funds sold their holdings in Nice Entertainment Group (Nice) to Swedish Modern Times Group MTG AB

Funds managed by CapMan have signed an agreement on 23 September 2013 to sell 100% of their holdings in Nice Entertainment Group (Nice), a pan-Nordic TV content production group, to Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) (MTG), a leading Swedish entertainment broadcasting company. As a result of the transaction, Nice will become part of MTG’s content production and distribution subsidiary MTG Studios.

23-9-2013 — /EuropaWire/ — Nice is the leading Nordic independent content production entertainment group based on storytelling, communication and entertainment. Nice currently has three integrated business areas: TV content production, event production and commercial production. Nice provides its services to all of the major TV broadcasters in the Nordic region. The group companies are specialized in local formats, producing more than 100 program formats annually and covering all the major genres from primetime TV shows to web productions.

Successful formats include Partaj in Sweden, The Ultimate Entertainer in Norway and the series Hidden Tracks in Finland. As a one-of-a-kind Nordic concept, Nice has been able to cross-sell its productions within the group, as well as monetise on its rights through international distribution. Examples of successful intercompany productions include the formats Babes on the bus, Dinner Disasters and Celebrity Babysitter. The Norwegian breakthrough Babes on the Bus has been aired in six countries and option rights have been sold world-wide.

The group was founded in 2008, when funds managed by CapMan acquired a Finnish content production company Moskito Television from Talentum Plc. A few months later, Nice was merged with Monster Entertainment, the leading Norwegian content producer. Acquisitions in Sweden followed, Baluba (2009) and Titan (2011), as well as the opening of a green field operation in Denmark, Gong (2009). Another green field operation, NiceDrama, was acquired in 2011, soon to release their first feature film The Centenarian. In line with the strategy of creating a more integrated offering within storytelling and communications, Nice acquired Norwegian Playroom, an event management business, in 2012. The group’s turnover has grown from €20 million to approx. €121 million during the funds’ ownership.

“In the past five years, Nice has grown from a local Finnish player into a leading Nordic content producer. We have achieved significant milestones by attracting top talent into the group and creating fantastic productions with international potential. All of this would not have been possible without extraordinarily driven and creative persons in all Nordic countries. CEO Morten Aass’ excellent leadership skills and cooperation with the respective country managers has created a positive organisational culture, which is a precondition for successful growth,” state Olli Liitola and Ari Tolppanen, Senior Partners at CapMan Buyout.

“Cooperation with CapMan has been very constructive from day one. We have experienced a supportive owner willing to think out of the box and who has made it possible to create a next generation entertainment provider. We believe that Nice has great qualifications in the new landscape, where more clients are asking for our core competence – to tell and create great stories. Nice is now well-positioned for further growth and we are excited about additional opportunities arising from becoming part of a bigger group,” says Morten Aass, CEO of Nice Entertainment Group.

“Nice is a fantastic company and a perfect strategic fit with MTG Studios, with well-diversified TV-production and relationships with all of the major Scandinavian broadcasters, as well as a unique approach to integrating TV and event production. It will be business as usual for Nice, and they will continue serving their broad client base with top content across the Nordic region,” comments Patrick Svensk, MTG Executive Vice President of Content and Chairman of MTG Studios.

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Swedish and Norwegian competition authorities and is expected by the end of October 2013.

CapMan funds hold a majority share in Nice, while Nice’s management and key employees are substantial minority shareholders.

For further information, please contact:
Olli Liitola, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 207207 506 or +358 400 605 040
Ari Tolppanen, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 207 207 507
Morten Aass, CEO, Nice Entertainment Group, tel. +47 970 270 00

CapMan www.capman.com
CapMan Buyout on pohjoismaiden suurin keskisuuriin yrityksiin erikoistunut sijoitustiimi. Tiimiin kuuluu 20 sijoitusammattilaista Suomessa, Norjassa ja Ruotsissa ja sillä on 23 vuoden kokemus pääomasijoitusalalta. Tiimi on tehnyt yhteensä 69 sijoitusta ja 49 irtautumista vuodesta 1989 lähtien ja sen kymmenes rahasto, CapMan Buyout X, on tällä hetkellä aktiivisessa sijoitusvaiheessa.
CapMan Buyout on osa CapMan-konsernia, joka on yksi Pohjoismaiden ja Venäjän johtavia pääomasijoittajia, ja jonka hallinnoimissa rahastoissa on noin 3,3 miljardin euron pääomat. CapManilla on viisi keskeistä sijoitusaluetta eli Buyout, Russia, Credit, Public Market ja CapMan Real Estate, joista jokaisesta vastaa oma yrittäjähenkinen sijoitustiimi. Kullakin sijoitusalueella on omat erikoistuneet rahastot. CapManin palveluksessa on noin 105 ammattilaista Helsingissä, Tukholmassa, Oslossa, Moskovassa ja Luxemburgissa

Nice Entertainment Group www.thisisnice.com
Nice on pohjoismaiden suurin itsenäinen viihdealan sisällöntuotantokonserni, jonka toiminta pohjautuu tarinankerrontaan, viestintään ja viihdyttämiseen. Konsernilla on kolme yhtenäistettyä liiketoiminta-aluetta: TV-, tapahtuma-, ja mainostuotanto. Nicen tytäryhtiöt ovat erikoistuneet paikallisiin ohjelmaformaatteihin ja tuottavat yli 100 formaattia vuosittain kaikille alueen merkittävimmille kanaville.

Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) www.mtg.se
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) on kansainvälinen mediakonserni, joka toimii neljällä eri mantereella ja jonka palvelut kattavat ilmaisen ja maksullisen TV-tuotannon sekä radio-, ja sisällöntuotannon. MTG:n Viasat Broadcasting tuottaa ilmaisia ja maksullisia TV-kanavia, joiden ohjelmat jaellaan Viasatin oman satelliitin, kolmansien osapuolten verkostojen tai internetin kautta. MTG on myös CTC Median, Venäjän suurimman itsenäisen TV-tuotantoyhtiön, suurin omistaja.

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