Telia detailed a SEK9.2 billion ($1 billion) deal to acquire media company Bonnier’s broadcasting business, its second acquisition this week designed to boost its multiplay credentials in its core Nordic markets.
In a statement, Telia said Bonnier Broadcasting strengthens its position in the video content sector, bringing with it access to brands TV4, C More and Finnish MTV. Telia plans to combine these units with its existing TV business in a new division headed by Casten Almqvist, the current CEO of Bonnier Broadcasting.
Telia CEO Johan Dennelind (pictured) said the acquisition was a “natural next step to complement Telia Company’s core business”. The new business will “serve customers and viewers in new ways and create new business opportunities”.
The operator’s current TV business serves 1.8 million households.
If the required regulatory approvals are granted, the company expects the deal to complete in the back half of 2019. The combination was tipped to generate synergies of SEK600 million by 2022.
Earlier this week, Telia lined up an NOK21 billion ($2.6 billion) acquisition of Denmark-based TDC’s Norwegian business, comprising TV and fibre service provider Get and a business-to-business division which Telia plans to combine with its current enterprise unit.
Telia announced the Bonnier Broadcast deal ahead of revealing its financial performance in the first half and second quarter of the year.
In its earnings statement, Dennelind said the acquisitions are “highly aligned with our strategy”: TDC Norway positions Telia as “the obvious challenger on the Norwegian market with a truly converged mobile, TV and broadband customer offering”; Bonnier Broadcasting offers expertise and assets which will enable the creation of a “unique converged offering”.
The operator recorded mobile ARPU growth across all of its markets in Q2 and said mobile revenue increased in five of its seven markets, with Nordic markets delivering mixed results and solid growth in its Baltic units.
“Despite increased competitive intensity we take market shares and deliver a total mobile services revenue growth of 1.9 per cent” Dennelind noted, adding consumer mobile growth came in “above 5 per cent for the second consecutive quarter”.
The CEO said an exit of Eurasian markets through asset sales was making progress “albeit slow and complex”.
Overall, Telia recorded a 5.2 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to SEK20.8 billion during Q2 and overturned a net loss attributable to shareholders of SEK291 million in Q2 2017 with an SEK2.16 billion profit.
Revenue in the first half grew 4.2 per cent year-on-year to SEK40.7 billion, but net income attributable to shareholders dropped 78 per cent to SEK1.45 billion.