• Viasat and Canal Digital announce plans to merge businesses
  • “Compelling business rationale behind combining the DTH operations,” says Telenor CFO
  • Growing consolidation among Nordic satellite and TV market

Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup Telenor Group

Telenor Group CTO Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) has proposed to merge its Viasat consumer business with Norwegian operator Telenor’s TV subsidiary Canal Digital.

In the proposal, the two businesses will each take 50% in the new joint venture and will be headquartered in both Oslo and Stockholm as well as having a presence in Copenhagen.

The new company will create a Nordic TV distribution business in a maturing Direct-to-Home (DTH) segment with a focus on satellite distributed pay-TV (DTH) and streaming services, as well as IPTV on open fiber networks, and will continue to develop market-leading TV distribution services.

Telenor Group chief financial officer Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup said: “The joint venture will combine the respective strengths of Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer, leveraging synergies for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.

“There is a compelling business rationale behind combining the DTH operations of Canal Digital and Viasat Consumer, with large synergies to be captured within areas including transponder capacity, IT and opex.

“The joint venture will use Telenor Satellite’s services on 1° west for DTH transmission, representing a solid foundation for Telenor Satellite’s broadcast operations.”

The combined company will have combined sales of SEK 7.6 billion and 1,257k subscribers and is subject to EU regulatory approval, which is expected to be completed during the first half of 2020.

NENT chief executive and group president Anders Jensen said: “We are creating a large-scale TV operator that will create sustainable value for customers and owners, and be able to compete with large scale regional and local competitors. The new joint venture will be a major distribution partner for both our Viasat channels and Viaplay.”

The new firm will have a rotating chairmanship and the CEO will be Bjørn Ivar Moen (currently CEO of Canal Digital and Telenor Broadcast), and the CFO and head of operations will be Jonas Gustafsson (currently CEO of Viasat Consumer).

Other key management positions will be jointly appointed and announced prior to the completion of the transaction.