TDC goes cold on MTG as it receives takeover bids
TDC, the Danish telecoms operator, is set to withdraw from a proposed deal to merge its business with the broadcast and entertainment assets of Modern Times Group, the Sweden-based media company, after receiving takeover approaches itself.
At the start of this month it was announced TDC would pay SKr19.55 billion ($2.42 billion) for MTG’s Nordic entertainment and studios business.
However, the deal was thrown into doubt last week when it emerged that TDC was the subject of a $6-billion takeover bid from Australian infrastructure group Macquarie and Danish pension funds PFA Pension and Forskiringsselskab, PKA and ATP.
That offer was rejected but it was announced today that TDC had received a new takeover approach from an unidentified bidder, and would be pulling out of the MTG deal if it goes through. The offers have prompted a surge in TDC's share price in recent days.
In a statement this morning, MTG said it “has been informed by TDC A/S (“TDC Group”) that its Board of Directors intends to withdraw its recommendation of the signed agreement with MTG to combine its Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios businesses with TDC Group.
“The combination is subject to, inter alia, the approval by a TDC Group shareholders’ meeting. MTG will provide further information to the market as and when it is received.”
The tie-up between TDC and MTG would have created a group, said to be “the first of its kind in Europe,” with combined revenues of SKr40.2 billion, 3 million television subscribers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland and a reach of more than 10 million households across the region.
Kinnevik, the Swedish investment firm, which owns 20 per cent of the capital and 47.6 per cent of the votes in MTG, had expressed its full support.
MTG’s broadcasting assets include the free-to-air TV channel TV3 in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, pay-TV service TV3 Sport in Sweden and Denmark and the Viasat Sport pay-TV channels and Viaplay streaming services available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
MTG holds rights to various top leagues and major events in sports popular across the region, including soccer, ice hockey and handball.