TDC steps back from MTG takeover deal

Danish telco TDC has today (Monday) said it intends to exit a proposed deal to take over multi-territory commercial and pay-television company Modern Times Group’s broadcasting and entertainment division after being approached with a takeover offer for its own business.

Earlier this month, the two parties said they had agreed a deal worth SDK19.55bn (€2bn/$2.5bn). Sweden-based MTG, a major sports broadcaster in the Nordic region, said that the deal would create Europe’s first fully-convergent media and communications provider.

The agreement was envisioned to allow TDC to offer a full package of fixed-line and mobile telephone services, as well as broadband, television and streaming services in Denmark and Norway.

MTG would have continued to be listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange as a digital entertainment company focused on esports, online gaming and digital video content. MTG chief executive Jorgen Madsen Lindemann said at the time that he believed the relevant competition authorities would approve the merger.

However, TDC today said it had been approached by a potential bidder for all its shares.

While stating that there could be no certainty that the current talks would lead to a firm offer, TDC said in a statement: “In light hereof, consistent with the obligations of TDC towards Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) (‘MTG’), TDC has consulted with MTG and has communicated that TDC's Board of Directors would intend to withdraw its recommendation of the transaction with MTG to combine MTG's Nordic Entertainment and Studios businesses with TDC if an offer for all shares of TDC is made.”

MTG last month extended its rights deal with golf’s European Tour under an agreement that secures exclusive Nordic media rights to a host of the sport’s top properties.

The European Tour package includes the eight Rolex Series events on the Tour, the World Golf Championships and the Ryder Cup for the next six years.

The contract covers Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden until 2024, with content to be offered live on MTG’s Nordic video streaming service Viaplay and pay-television channel Viasat Golf.