Danish telecoms firm TDC is to acquire Modern Times Group’s Nordic group, which includes a raft of channels and production and distribution assets, for $2.5B. The move is the latest high-profile merger between the media and telco sectors. TDC has made an offer to buy MTG Nordics, which includes the Viasat pay and free TV channels in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, SVOD service Viaplay, the Nice Entertainment production studio and distribution division DRG. Pernille Erenbjerg, who is currently CEO of TDC Group, the largest telco in Denmark, will become CEO of the combined company with MTG Executive Vice President Anders Jensen becoming Deputy CEO. The deal has already been approved by MTG’s largest shareholder Kinnevik and is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018. David Chance, MTG Chairman of the Board, said: “This combination creates a first of its kind attractive new proposition for both consumers and shareholders in the Nordic region. MTG has a long history of being at the forefront of change, and this combination is further evidence of our commitment to shaping the future of entertainment and creating value for our shareholders. Not only are we creating a leading provider of integrated high-quality consumer products in Denmark and Norway, with the opportunity to expand and integrate its existing Nordic operations, but we are also creating the first fully convergent media and communications provider in Europe.
Mip TV is whittling down the shortlist for its inaugural In Development drama series event after receiving 344 projects from producers and writers from around the world. The Reed Midem-organized event will select 12 projects to showcase at the conference in April and will announce its selection in early March. It has received a raft of projects from the U.S., UK, Europe and Latin America as well as Israel, UAE, Nigeria and Togo. In Development has been organized in association with Cannesseries – the Cannes International Series Festival – and takes place alongside the two events. A jury made of up of execs including Studiocanal’s television boss Rola Bauer, Carnival Films’ development exec Tara Cook and A Very Secret Service writer Claire Lemaréchal will decide the shortlist. “The large number of entries from so many countries reflects the huge amount of international creative talent within the dynamic drama sector. The In Development pre-selection jury has started reading through the first proposals and feedback is that the quality of the projects is extremely high,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed Midem’s Television Division.
Scandinavian SVOD service C More has ordered a spy thriller series based on Jan Guillou’s best-selling Hamilton books, one of the region’s most successful literary property of all time. The digital platform has commissioned the series from Rolf Sohlman and Patrick Nebout’s Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, the firm behind SVT/Canal+ co-pro Midnight Sun. It will star rising Norwegian star Jakob Oftebro, who has appeared in Oscar-nominated epic Kon-Tiki and Scandi noir series Below The Surface, as a Swedish intelligence officer. Also airing on linear channel TV4 and Germany’s ZDF, the series is directed by Denmark’s Kasper Barfoed (Below The Surface) and written by Petter S Rosenlund (The Heavy Water War) and will be co-produced and distributed by Jan Mojto’s Beta Film. “We have had our eyes on Jakob for a long time, and finally we found the right project for him. He is one of Scandinavia’s most talented actors and perfect for the part as he will give us the young Hamilton. With the reboot of Hamilton and its international setting we have the potential of taking a well-renowned and loved Scandinavian brand to a new level,’ said Josefine Tengblad, Head of Drama at C More and TV4.