MTG edges ever closer to finally selling Nova
Modern Times Group, the Sweden-based media company, announced today it has received regulatory approval to sell its 95-per-cent shareholding in Nova Broadcasting Group, the Bulgarian free-to-air broadcasting network, to Advance Media Group.
The deal was signed in February, and now with regulatory approval secured the transaction is expected to complete in April.
AMG, a multinational business also based in Bulgaria, is a subsidiary of Advance Properties, which owns 117 companies across 23 countries operating in industries including pharmaceuticals, shipping and real estate.
The sale of the 95-per-cent shareholding gives Nova, which houses various television channels and online companies in Bulgaria, an enterprise value of €185 million ($210 million).
The regulatory approval will be a relief to MTG, which went back out to the market last year after a proposed deal with PPF Group, an investment group owned by Petr Kellner, the Czech billionaire, was blocked by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC).
The CPC ruled that if the deal had gone through, the participants in the merger would have had “the stimulus and real possibility to change their commercial policy in different ways that would lead to reduced access, increased prices or changes to contracts already in place.”
Nova holds rights to soccer’s English Premier League, France's Ligue 1 and Bulgaria’s top-tier league, as well as various other high-profile sporting series and events.