MTG to split in two after failed takeover

Swedish media company Modern Times Group has today (Friday) said it will split into two entities following the collapse of a proposed takeover deal.

Modern Times Group MTG AB and Nordic Entertainment Group will now be created by distributing all of the shares in Nordic Entertainment Group, comprising MTG Nordic Entertainment, MTG Studios and Splay Networks, to MTG’s shareholders, and listing these shares on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.

The MTG board intends to propose the distribution and listing of the shares at an Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders during the second half of 2018. Modern Times Group MTG AB will comprise MTG’s current esports (ESL, DreamHack and ESEA), online gaming (InnoGames and Kongregate) and digital video content (Zoomin.TV, Engage Digital Partners) operations, as well as other minority holdings (Comosa AG and BITKRAFT).

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann will continue as MTG president and chief executive, while MTG will continue to be headquartered in Stockholm and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

Nordic Entertainment Group will comprise MTG’s current Nordic Entertainment and MTG Studios business segments, as well as Splay Networks. Anders Jensen, currently MTG executive vice-president and chief executive of Nordic Entertainment, will be president and chief executive of Nordic Entertainment Group.

Danish telco TDC last month said it would exit a proposed deal to take over MTG’s broadcasting and entertainment division after being approached with a takeover offer for its own business. The two parties had earlier agreed a deal worth SDK19.55bn (€2bn/$2.5bn). MTG, a major sports broadcaster in the Nordic region, said that the deal would create Europe’s first fully-convergent media and communications provider.

Commenting on today’s announcement, MTG chairman David Chance said: “Now is the right time to initiate a split of MTG into two separate and listed companies, in order to maximise the focus and potential of each group for the benefit of owners, customers and employees. The expertise and depth in our management teams enables us to split the company in this way, with Jørgen and Anders to lead the respective organisations.”

Lindemann added: “This initiative will empower each company and team to focus on its specific business requirements and opportunities. I am looking forward to accelerating the global development and expansion of our fast growing esports, online gaming and digital video content businesses, which offer next generation experiences to audiences around the world. MTG will be the only publicly traded, pure play esports, online gaming and digital video content company in the western hemisphere.”