(Adds background, CEO comment, analyst)
STOCKHOLM, March 17 Sweden's MTG has
agreed to sell its Baltic broadcasting operations to Providence
Equity Partners, the latest deal in its transformation from a
traditional broadcaster to a digital entertainment firm.
Founded 30 years ago by media mogul Jan Stenbeck - who also
created telecom operators Tele2 and Millicom
- MTG now faces declining linear TV viewing and is
pushing into the multi-billion dollar online gaming market.
CEO Jorgen Madsen Lindemann sees MTG becoming a global
player within digital entertainment and a Nordic player within
its traditional operations.
"We should expect more to be divested and we should expect
more to be acquired," he told Reuters on Friday after the deal
was announced, while declining to be more specific.
The firm has sold its Ukrainian pay-TV business, its
Hungarian free-TV, and recently its stake in Czech FTV Prima
Holding, while taking a 35 percent stake in online gaming firm
The latest deal values MTG's Baltic businesses at 115
million euros ($124 mln) and will result in a significant net
capital gain for the Kinnevik-controlled media group.
"I like that MTG exits these kinds of assets and uses the
money to invest in other parts of the business. It firms our
view on the company," said Swedbank analyst Stefan Ward, who has
a strong buy recommendation on MTG shares.
MTG shares rose 0.8 percent at 0917 CET, while the broader
Swedish stock index was down 0.2 percent.
($1 = 0.9295 euros)
(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Helena Soderpalm; Editing by
Niklas Pollard and Alexander Smith)