MTG completes further asset sale

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 16 February 2015

Days after divesting assets in East Europe, Scandinavian pay-TV company Modern Times Group (MTG) has completed a further sale of financial holdings.

MTGpayTVSpecifically, hot on the heels of selling to Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks its Hungarian free-TV operations, comprising the VIASAT3 and VIASAT6 channels and the Viasat Play catch-up service, the company has just completed the sale of its half stake in Swedish cable TV company Sappa to Finnish telecom operator Anvia for an enterprise value (on a 100% basis) of $16.07 million.

Anvia is Finland’s fourth largest telecom operator and offers quadruple-play services. Sappa offers TV channel packages to 350,000 Swedish households through cable and IPTV networks. Sappa was founded as Svensk Program Agentur (SPA) in 1994 through the merger of several different local cable (SMATV) operators. MTG acquired 50% of the business in 1999. It generated revenue of $29.58 million in 2014, and an operating profit (EBIT) of $1.87 million. MTG has accounted for its 50% participation in the earnings as associated company income in the pay-TV Nordic business.

“We have been a proud partner in Sappa for over 15 years, during which the company has gone from strength to strength, said MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann. "The TV distribution market has changed substantially during this time and we are focused on the provision of entertainment rather than the development of network infrastructure. The business is well established and a good fit for its new owner, so we wish the Sappa team continued success in the future.”