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MTG to split in two

Scandinavian media firm Modern Times Group (MTG) is splitting itself into two companies, one of which will be offered up to shareholders.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann

MTG has initiated the process of splitting into Modern Times Group MTG and Nordic Entertainment Group, with the latter’s shares being distributed to MTG’s shareholders via Nasdaq Stockholm.

MTG’s board intends to propose the distribution and listing of the Nordic Entertainment Group shares at an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders during the second half of 2018.

Modern Times Group MTG will consist of MTG’s current eSports, online gaming and digital video content operations, as well as other minority holdings. Jørgen Madsen Lindemann will continue as MTG president and CEO and Maria Redin will continue as MTG’s chief financial officer.

Lindemann described MTG as the only publicly traded eSports, online gaming and digital video content company in the western hemisphere.

Nordic Entertainment Group, meanwhile, will comprise MTG’s current Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios business segments, as well as multichannel network Splay.

MTG Nordics includes broadcasting, streaming and distribution operations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, spanning free and pay TV. It houses the TV3, TV6, TV8 and TV10 channel brands, Viasat satellite TV platform, Viaplay digital streaming services, Nice Entertainment production operation and UK-based distributor DRG.

Nice is one of Europe’s biggest producers, with a portfolio that includes Monster, One Big Happy Family, Playroom, Rakett and Novemberfilm in Norway, as well as Strix in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, Paprika Latino in Eastern Europe and Redaktörerna in Sweden.

Anders Jensen, currently MTG’s executive VP and CEO of Nordic Entertainment, will be president and CEO of Nordic Entertainment Group, with a chief financial officer set to be appointed in the future.

MTG said Stockholm-based Nordic Entertainment Group will have “an appropriate capital structure to fund its further expansion and shareholder returns.”

David Chance, chairman of MTG’s board, said: “MTG has successfully transformed from a traditional national broadcaster into a global digital entertainer. Today, MTG is leading eSports into the global mainstream, captivating hundreds of millions of online gamers, and creating video content that generates billions of views around the world.”

“At the same time, the company has developed into a fully integrated broadcasting, digital communication and content production company in the Nordic region, with unique content that engages diverse audiences across multiple platforms and screens.

“Now is the right time to initiate a split of MTG into two separate and listed companies, in order to maximise the focus and potential of each group for the benefit of owners, customers and employees.

MTG said the board’s final proposal will be subject to the previously announced combination of MTG’s Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios businesses with Danish telecoms firm TDC Group not being completed.

MTG has been offloading its traditional TV operations over recent years, selling its linear networks and investing in eSports and digital companies.

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