MTG forced to terminate the sale of Nova to PPF

Digital entertainment company Modern Times Group has announced that it will be seeking a new buyer for its majority stake in Nova Broadcasting Group, after terminating its agreement with the investment company PPF Group.

The deal – initially agreed in February 2018 – between PPF and MTG, which owns 95 per cent of Nova, valued the broadcaster at €185m ($212m). PPF was also set to acquire the remaining five-per-cent stake from Eastern European Media Holdings. The deal has now been terminated after initially being blocked by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protections of Competition in July 2018.

Along with the announcement on the collapse of the deal, PPF said: “In Bulgaria, PPF Group will continue to focus on developing Telenor’s telecommunications assets, which it acquired as part of the acquisition of Telenor’s telecommunications assets in Central and Eastern Europe, specifically in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Serbia.”

In May, PPF struck a €2.8bn deal for the Hungarian, Montenegrin and Serbian assets of Norwegian telco Telenor. PFF is owned by Czech billionaire, Petr Kellner.

Another notable PPF investment in Eastern Europe is Czech telco O2 in 2013. Since the takeover, O2 has spent significantly to acquire exclusive sports-rights including the Champions League and the domestic football league.

MTG also announced that it has contracted a credit line of SKK 1bn (€33m/$38m) by Nordic financial group Nordea, which will also provide additional funding after MTG completed its split into two separate companies (MTG and Nent Group) in March 2019, one year after it was first announced.

Nova will remain part of MTG until a sale is completed.