MTG seeking new owner for Baltic businesses (1)

MTG is the Swedish owner of Viasat (Wikimedia Commons)
11/30/2016 3:40 PM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

According to unofficial information, Modern Times Group (MTG), the Swedish owner of Viasat, is seeking a new owner for its Baltic businesses, the price tag of which may be around 100 million euros.

MTG is interested in selling its media channels in all three Baltic countries as one package and SEB has been authorized to seek a buyer, unofficial information states. The price fo the package is nearly 100 million euros and potential buyers are being sough outside of the Baltic states themselves.

Media analyst Toomas Leito said that he has also heard of the group's channels being sold as one package. "It has been considered, as it is reasonable to sell TV3 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Viasat since the price of such a package is very high," Leito told BNS.

Leito stated that he had no information regarding specific sales numbers and had not properly calculated the possible value of such a transaction, but he speculated that the sales price could be as high as even 200 million euros.

"Since it is such a big transaction, a large Scandinavian company could likely buy it; It is not very likely that someone from Estonia could," he said. "Starman has been mentioned, but I consider it unlikely that Starman would be able to scrape together such a sum even if they wanted to."

The sale of MTG's Baltic business operations is an attractive offer for a potential buyer, noted the media analyst, according to whom TV3 is doing very well and TV3 Estonia will for the first time see some profit this year. He added, however, that he did not know how Viasat is doing.

Leido forecasted that it will take a couple of years to complete a sales transaction as the new owner will definitely take at least six months to examine the business operations' background and bookkeeping, among other details.

MTG's sales in the Baltic states, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria grew 11.8 percent to 2.53 billion Swedish kronor last year; the group's profit in the television segment in the region increased 44.7 percent to 288 million kronor.

MTG's market share among 15-49-year-old viewers was 40.3 percent in 2015, on the same level as during the previous year.

In Estonia, MTG owns Viasat Eesti, TV channels TV3, TV6 and 3+ as well as radio stations Power Hit Radio and Star FM.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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