MTG sells Baltic broadcasting businesses to Providence

Modern Times Group, the multi-territory commercial and pay-television broadcaster, has continued its transformation effort by selling off its free-to-air television, pay-television, digital and radio businesses in the Baltic region to US private equity investment firm Providence Equity Partners.

The transaction, which includes leading pay-television channels in sports and entertainment across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, values 100 per cent of the business at an enterprise value of €115m ($121.8m).

Providence already has a presence in the region through ownership of Bite, the Lithuanian and Latvian mobile operator. The sale reflects MTG’s ongoing transformation from a traditional national broadcaster into a global digital group.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and MTG said it will use the proceeds to transform the company further.

Providence will gain three television channels in Estonia (TV3, TV3+ and TV6); five channels in Latvia (TV3, TV3+, TV6, Kanals 2 and LNT) and three channels in Lithuania (TV3, TV6 and TV8).

Robert Sudo, managing director at Providence, said: “Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are all among the fastest growing countries in the EU. The business friendly environment combined with a highly skilled workforce make the Baltics an exciting region for us.”

Today’s (Friday’s) announcement comes just days after MTG agreed a five-year extension to its rights deal with the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) for the three Baltic countries. The exclusive rights agreement covers Fiba’s leading men’s and women’s competitions from 2017 to 2021.