Viasat to merge with Canal Digital | Major Businesses | Business
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In the latest act of an almost permanent corporate restructuring that it seems to have been undertaking for the last 18 months, Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) is merging its Viasat Consumer business with Norwegian operator Telenor’s TV subsidiary Canal Digital.

Anders Jensen NENT Group 5Sep2019The proposed deal will see Viasat’s satellite pay-TV and broadband-TV operations combined with the Canal Digital satellite pay-TV business. Each of the parent companies holding a half share in the new joint venture.

Explaining the rationale for the move, the companies say that consolidation in the Nordic satellite-TV segment has been clear for a long time. The move, they believe, will provide what is hoped to be a simpler and more complete content offering, create substantial revenue and cost synergies and enable sustained investment to stay competitive. The parties regard an independent joint venture as the strategically preferred route to capture the desired synergies and create shareholder value.

Telenor and NENT Group are guaranteeing that the joint venture will benefit from the provision of a suite of services from the two respective partners, including transponder capacity, technology services, content and streaming services. The joint venture will use Telenor Satellite’s services at the 1° West neighbourhood for DTH transmission.

NENT and Telenor calculate that the merger creates a scale Nordic player with combined net sales of approximately SEK 7.6 billion and 1.257 million subscribers as of 30 June 2019 and which is expected to yield annual cost synergies of approximately SEK 650 million from 2022. Furthermore, there are expected to be substantial sales synergies arising primarily from Viaplay upsell opportunities and reduced churn in the joint entity. Integration and other related costs are expected to total approximately SEK 900 million.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group president and CEO (pictured) called the joint venture a game-changer that made perfect sense. “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,” he remarked. “We have achieved complete alignment of interest through a 50/50 joint venture structure and a shared vision for brands, products and how to provide an even better consumer experience. The new joint venture will be a major distribution partner for both our Viasat channels and Viaplay.”

Telenor Group CFO Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup added: “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 operating expenditure.”