CapMan is to sell 100% of its holdings in Nice Entertainment Group, a pan-Nordic TV content production group, to Modern Times Group, a Swedish entertainment broadcasting company. Financial details were not disclosed.
Funds managed by CapMan have signed an agreement on 23 September 2013 to sell 100% of their holdings in Nice Entertainment Group (Nice), a pan-Nordic TV content production group, to Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) (MTG), a leading Swedish entertainment broadcasting company. As a result of the transaction, Nice will become part of MTG’s content production and distribution subsidiary MTG Studios.
Nice is the leading Nordic independent content production entertainment group based on storytelling, communication and entertainment. Nice currently has three integrated business areas: TV content production, event production and commercial production. Nice provides its services to all of the major TV broadcasters in the Nordic region. The group companies are specialized in local formats, producing more than 100 program formats annually and covering all the major genres from primetime TV shows to web productions.
Successful formats include Partaj in Sweden, The Ultimate Entertainer in Norway and the series Hidden Tracks in Finland. As a one-of-a-kind Nordic concept, Nice has been able to cross-sell its productions within the group, as well as monetise on its rights through international distribution. Examples of successful intercompany productions include the formats Babes on the bus, Dinner Disasters and Celebrity Babysitter. The Norwegian breakthrough Babes on the Bus has been aired in six countries and option rights have been sold world-wide.
The group was founded in 2008, when funds managed by CapMan acquired a Finnish content production company Moskito Television from Talentum Plc. A few months later, Nice was merged with Monster Entertainment, the leading Norwegian content producer. Acquisitions in Sweden followed, Baluba (2009) and Titan (2011), as well as the opening of a green field operation in Denmark, Gong (2009). Another green field operation, NiceDrama, was acquired in 2011, soon to release their first feature film The Centenarian. In line with the strategy of creating a more integrated offering within storytelling and communications, Nice acquired Norwegian Playroom, an event management business, in 2012. The group’s turnover has grown from €20 million to approx. €121 million during the funds’ ownership.
“In the past five years, Nice has grown from a local Finnish player into a leading Nordic content producer. We have achieved significant milestones by attracting top talent into the group and creating fantastic productions with international potential. All of this would not have been possible without extraordinarily driven and creative persons in all Nordic countries. CEO Morten Aass’ excellent leadership skills and cooperation with the respective country managers has created a positive organisational culture, which is a precondition for successful growth,” state Olli Liitola and Ari Tolppanen, Senior Partners at CapMan Buyout.
“Cooperation with CapMan has been very constructive from day one. We have experienced a supportive owner willing to think out of the box and who has made it possible to create a next generation entertainment provider. We believe that Nice has great qualifications in the new landscape, where more clients are asking for our core competence – to tell and create great stories. Nice is now well-positioned for further growth and we are excited about additional opportunities arising from becoming part of a bigger group,” says Morten Aass, CEO of Nice Entertainment Group.
“Nice is a fantastic company and a perfect strategic fit with MTG Studios, with well-diversified TV-production and relationships with all of the major Scandinavian broadcasters, as well as a unique approach to integrating TV and event production. It will be business as usual for Nice, and they will continue serving their broad client base with top content across the Nordic region,” comments Patrick Svensk, MTG Executive Vice President of Content and Chairman of MTG Studios.
The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Swedish and Norwegian competition authorities and is expected by the end of October.
CapMan funds hold a majority share in Nice, while Nice’s management and key employees are substantial minority shareholders.
For further information, please contact:
Olli Liitola, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 207207 506 or +358 400 605 040
Ari Tolppanen, Senior Partner, CapMan Buyout, tel. +358 207 207 507
Morten Aass, CEO, Nice Entertainment Group, tel. +47 970 270 00
CapMan Buyout is the largest mid-market private equity team in the Nordic region, with 20 investment professionals in Finland, Norway and Sweden and 23 years of experience. The team has made a total of 69 investments and 49 exits and is currently investing from CapMan Buyout X.
CapMan Buyout is part of CapMan Group, a leading private equity firm in the Nordic countries and Russia, with assets under management of €3.3 billion. CapMan has five key investment partnerships – CapMan Buyout, CapMan Russia, CapMan Credit, CapMan Public Market and CapMan Real Estate – each of which has its own dedicated investment team and funds. Altogether, CapMan employs 105 people in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Moscow and Luxembourg.
Nice Entertainment Group www.thisisnice.com
Nice is the leading Nordic independent content production entertainment group based on storytelling, communication and entertainment. Nice has three integrated business areas: TV content production, event production and commercial production. The group companies are specialised in local formats, producing more than 100 program formats annually serving all the major channels in the territory.
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ) www.mtg.se
MTG is an international entertainment group with operations that span four continents and include free-TV, pay-TV, radio and content production businesses. MTG’s Viasat Broadcasting operates free-TV and pay-TV channels, which are available on Viasat’s own satellite platforms and third party networks, and also distributes TV content over the internet. MTG is also the largest shareholder in CTC Media, which is Russia’s leading independent television broadcaster.