TV4 Group and Telenor strengthen Canal+ through Nordic co-ownership

The TV4 Group and Telenor Group today announced that they have entered a co-ownership agreement for C More Entertainment, which runs its premium TV operations under the Canal+ brand. Telenor will acquire 35 per cent of C More Entertainment through a share purchase and a directed new share issue of the company’s shares. Telenor has paid a cash consideration of SEK 787 million. In addition, certain sports rights owned by Telenor, such as SAS Ligaen and FIFA World Cup 2010 in Denmark, have been sublicensed to C More Entertainment. The Nordic co-ownership provides Canal+ with long term access to important content for its TV subscribers. Canal+ customers will be offered an increased selection of top quality sports, films and series.

Published: 11 May 2010 08:00

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The TV4 Group and Telenor have enjoyed a close collaboration since TV4 Group’s acquisition of C More Entertainment. The deal presented today will enhance this collaboration. The co-ownership agreement opens the door for new media and telecom ventures and business opportunities, with each party offering both knowledge and creativity.

“We are very pleased to present this deal. Telenor and TV4 Group complement each other well and, together, we are a perfect match to develop Canal+ further” said Erik Nord, CEO of Telenor Media and Content Services.

For Canal+ subscribers, positive changes will be felt immediately through the launch of several exciting projects. For example, Canal+ will launch several new premium channels in the Nordic region. As announced yesterday, Canal+ will also expand its rights portfolio with attractive new sports rights such as the whole Spanish La Liga with Messi and Zlatan, Italian Serie A with Riise and Ronaldinho, the American major soccer league MSL with Beckham, world-class tennis and the NBA professional basketball league. Canal+ will further include the premier division of the Swedish football league and premier league ice hockey. In addition, Canal+ has long term exclusive agreements with 6 out of 8 Hollywood studios. Canal+ subscribers can therefore continue to expect the best premium sports, film and series content. The launch of new TV channels in Norway and Denmark is also planned.

“Canal+ has developed very well since we acquired the company in 2008, and reported its best ever results last year. We are now creating even better opportunities for Canal+ to maintain its position as the Nordic region’s leading TV channel in the premium segment, and are also enlarging our offer” stated Jan Scherman, CEO of the TV4 Group.

The Canal+ operational structure remains unchanged and the company’s business model will remain based on an operator-independent strategy. Canal+ will also maintain its current objective of offering premium services to existing and new subscribers in the Nordic region. The intensification of the close, long-standing Canal+ collaboration between the TV4 Group and the Telenor Group therefore means that all three companies will continue to run their operations with the same market orientation towards other partners as previously. The co-ownership agreement will not alter the control structure of C More Entertainment. TV4 Group will remain as the company’s majority owner.

To the editorial offices: Press conference

In conjunction with the announcement of the co-ownership agreement, a press conference will be held on Tuesday, 11 May 2010 at 10:00 AM Norwegian time/CET, at Telenor Expo Visitors’ Centre at the Telenor Headquarters in Fornebu, outside Oslo. Presentations will be given by Jan Scherman, CEO of TV4 Group, Jonas Eriksson, CEO of C More Entertainment, Erik Nord, CEO of Telenor Media and Content Services, and Christian Albech, CEO of Telenor Broadcast Holding.

The press conference will be broadcast live over the internet and a recorded version will be made available on http://webcast.telenorexpo.no/easystream/event/eventlist/default.cfm?page=1&contactid=1015&contactguid=677DCCB7-CC9E-4F74-86E1-2854DD8B4D19&eventid=1071&eventguid=FEB3DA08-EFC3-49E0-82A4-DAC04C193F9E.

For further information, please contact:
Gunnar Gidefeldt, Director of Communications, TV4 Group
Telephone: +46 70 54 67 444

Scott Engebrigtsen, Communication Manager, Telenor Group
Telephone: + 47 90 04 34 84

C More Entertainment

C More Entertainment is the Nordic region’s leading premium pay TV company, with operations in the four Nordic countries: Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. Its 14 channels of premium films, series and sports are enjoyed by over one million Nordic household.. In addition to its linear TV offering, Canal+ offers pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, online and through various distributors. In 2009, C More Entertainment reported revenues of SEK 1,6 billion and EBITDA of SEK 111 million before restructuring costs.

Telenor Group

The Telenor Group is an international provider of high quality tele, data and media communication services with mobile operations in 13 markets across the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia. Headquartered in Norway, the Telenor Group is among the largest mobile operators in the world with 179 million mobile subscriptions (per Q1 2010), revenues in 2009 of NOK 107 billion, and a workforce of more than 45,000. Telenor is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL).

TV4 Group

The TV4 Group has delivered engaging news, grand entertainment of great variety and quality, live sport and top-class drama to Swedish viewers for two decades. In addition to the main channel TV4, the group’s portfolio includes over 30 TV channels in the Nordic region – in the free-TV, mini-pay and premium segments – and 25 local stations in Sweden, as well as a wide range of web and mobile sites and on demand services. For more information, visit tv4group.se.