Nordic production outfit Nice Entertainment has been the subject of much speculation over the past few months as several potential suitors were seen showing interest in the company. Those reportedly included American Idol parent CORE Media Group, Britain’s ITV, Fremantle, Sony and Time Warner. However, it’s Stockholm-based media giant Modern Times Group that has announced an agreement to acquire a majority 86.6% stake in Nice for an enterprise value of 84.4M euros ($114M). The remainder of the shares will be held by Nice founders and management. CEO, Morten Aass, will remain in his post at the company which had fiscal 2013 revenues of 121.1M euros.
The Nice acquisition will expand MTG’s production and distribution subsidiary Modern Times Studios. Nice has branches in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden and is the largest independent group of production companies in the Nordic region. It’s also the No.1 producer in Finland and Norway. The company makes drama and reality series with a portfolio that includes Hidden Tracks, The Half Brother, Babes On The Bus The Grill Masters, Dinner Disasters and Celebrity Babysitter. Among the production companies under the Nice umbrella are Monster, One Big Happy Family, Playroom, and Rakett in Norway; Titan, Baluba and Nice Drama in Sweden; Moskito, Production House, and Grillifilms in Finland; and Gong in Denmark.
Earlier this year, MTG acquired UK-based distributor Digital Rights Group for £15M ($23.6M) and also picked up a 51% stake in Norwegian producer Novemberfilm for an undisclosed sum. The Nice deal is subject to regulatory approval by the Swedish and Norwegian competition authorities.
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