Nent raises SEK800m from Nordic investors, Telia sells Turkcell stake

Pan-Nordic broadcaster Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group has raised SEK800m (€76m/$85.4m) by issuing three- and five-year bonds to more than 15 Nordic investors.

This was the second public issue since Nent listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange last year. Danske Bank and Nordic bank SEB advised Nent on the issue.

The total outstanding value of Nent’s bonds is now SEK3.1bn.

Gabriel Catrina, group chief financial officer at Nent said: “The high levels of interest in this bond issue clearly demonstrate the markets’ confidence in Nent Group and in our performance and potential as the Nordic region’s leading streaming company.”

It comes as welcome news following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the pan-regional broadcaster due to the period of inactivity in live sport. Nent has spent heavily on sports rights over the last two years, seeking to further its dominance over live sports broadcasting in the region.

In mid-March, when the vast majority of live sport had been suspended, the broadcaster responded by cutting the price of its sports packages and warning rights-holders that it would not pay any rights fees for postponed properties until they recommence.

It has since reintroduced full pricing for its sports channels in Denmark, Finland and Sweden and has resumed sports-rights payments, now that the majority of its live sport has restarted.

Meanwhile, Nent’s Nordic rival, telco Telia, has also raised funds through the sale of its 47.1-per-cent stake in Turkcell, the Turkish telecoms operator, to the Turkey Wealth Fund, the sovereign wealth fund. The sale means that the company now longer hold any business ventures in the country.

Telia expects to receive $530m (€472.5m) from the sale.

Allison Kirkby, president and chief executive officer of Telia said: “Over the past few years, our focus has been our core Nordic and Baltic markets.

“Through this divestment, we unwind a long-lasting legal deadlock; we reduce risk, improve leverage and increase liquidity which will generate better shareholder returns in our core markets.”

The sale also includes, subject to closing, a full and global settlement of all shareholder disputes and litigations connected to Turkcell Holding.

At the start of the year, Turkcell extended its carriage agreement for the S Sport and S Sport 2 channels in a deal with rights agency Saran Media, which owns and operates the channels.