Modern Times Group MTG AB divests its Bulgarian media business

Modern Times Group MTG AB divests its Bulgarian media business

(PRESS RELEASE) STOCKHOLM, 22-Feb-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Modern Times Group MTG AB, a leading international digital entertainment group, has just announced it signed an agreement to sell its holdings in the Bulgarian media group Nova Broadcasting Group (Nova). The deal is for 95% stake in the structure and the buyer is newly created Bulgarian company Advance Media Group. The acquirer is a subsidiary of Advance Properties OOD, which is controlled by Bulgarian brother businessmen Kiril Domuschiev and Georgi Domuschiev. Advance Properties has vast and diversified interests in multiple industries such as pharmaceuticals, shipping, port operation, real estate and power generation.

The deal puts an enterprise value of EUR 185 million of Nova’s media assets in Bulgaria. The transaction is subject to local regulatory approvals, which are expected to take place during the second quarter of 2019.

MTG will use the proceeds from the sale of Nova to develop its global digital entertainment verticals through organic investment and M&A.

The sale of Nova will result in a net capital gain for Modern Times Group MTG AB of approximately SEK 1,300 million (~EUR 122 million).

MTG had Citigroup Global Markets as its financial adviser for the deal.

Nova Broadcasting Group, established in 1994, is the biggest commercial media group in Bulgaria and owns, controls and operates 7 TV channels and numerous online properties as their combined monthly reach is around 74% of the Bulgarian population. Nova achieved revenues in the EUR 108 million range and EUR 21 million operating income (EBIT) in 2018. The media company relies on 650 employees. Among its media brands and assets are Kino Nova, Nova Sport, DIEMA, Diema Family and Diema Sport.

Modern Times Group MTG AB has been active in Bulgaria since 2007 when it first invested in Balkan Media Group Limited and then acquired Nova in 2008 (The deal was with Antenna Group and the amount it paid for was EUR 620 million) before merging the two media businesses one year later in 2009.

In February 2018, MTG has announced it has reached an agreement with Czech investment group PPF to sell 95% of Nova Broadcasting Group, but the deal has fallen apart later on the same year as, according to Bulgarian news sites, it had hard times getting regulatory approval.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG President & CEO:

“This deal with Advance Media Group will ensure the continued development of Nova, which CEO Didier Stoessel and his team have grown into Bulgaria’s leading commercial media group. I would like to thank everyone who has made this sustained success possible. This transaction is in line with our strategic decision to find new owners to invest in our international entertainment operations, while we focus on our global digital verticals. Following the forthcoming distribution of NENT Group, MTG will be a standalone strategic operational and investment holding company focused on esports and online gaming.”

SOURCE: Modern Times Group MTG AB

MTG announces sale of Nova to Advance Media Group



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