Modern Times Group (MTG) has confirmed earlier reports, quoted in Broadband TV News, by announcing that it has sold its 95% share in Bulgaria’s Nova Broadcasting Group.
The stake has been bought by Advance Media Group in a deal that values 100% of the company at €185 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and once completed its proceeds will be used to develop MTG’s global digital entertainment verticals through organic investment and M&A.
Nova is one of Bulgaria’s two leading broadcasters – the other being CME-owned bTV – and operates seven TV channels, as well as complementary online businesses. It has been owned by MTG since 2008.
Commenting on the sale, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president & CEO, said: “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.”
MTG says that the sale will result in a net capital gain of around SEK1,300 million.
It also says that Advance Media Group is a subsidiary of Advance Properties, which owns 117 companies across 23 countries. Advance Properties’ portfolio companies operate in more than 10 industries including pharmaceuticals, shipping, port operation, real estate and power generation. The group is jointly owned by the Bulgarian businessmen Kiril Domuschiev and Georgi Domuschiev.
Broadband TV News notes that MTG had earlier agreed to sell Nova to the Czech Republic’s PPF Group but pulled out of the deal earlier this year. The sale marks the end of its involvement in Central and Eastern Europe’s TV industry, where it was a leading player until only a handful of years ago.