Greek telco and pay-TV operator Forthnet has officially become part of BC Partners majority-owned media company United Group.
United Group announced in June it had agreed to acquire an initial stake of approximately 36% in Forthnet. Since then, United Group has increased its stake to about 80%. By year end, after the company completes the conversion of the Forthnet convertible debt it holds, its stake will rise to approximately 85%.
Victoriya Boklag, CEO of United Group commented: “I’m pleased to welcome our colleagues from Forthnet to the United Group family. We have ambitious plans for the company that will be implemented with the new management team. Forthnet’s Nova brand is well-established in Greece and we see a lot of potential for the business.
“We have the opportunity to bring to the Greek market more content and more options in entertainment and sports to drive growth in pay-TV services. We’re confident that by applying our expertise in areas such as content and technology, combined with our wider telco offering, we can deliver a top user experience and realize our goals for the business.”
Under Greek tender offer rules, United Group has triggered the minimum mandatory tender offer requirements and is expected to launch a Mandatory Tender Offer (MTO), which should be completed in Q1 2021.
If United Group acquires at least 90% of the ordinary shares of Forthnet at the completion of the MTO, it will eventually acquire a 100% stake in the company, through a combination of acquisitions in the MTO and/or right to squeeze out any remaining shareholders in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
Forthnet is a provider of home entertainment and communications services in Greece, with around 1,000 employees and nearly 1.4 million revenue generating units (RGUs). Forthnet offers its customers more than 60 direct-to-home (DTH) channels via the brand Nova, which in October launched Novasports World, aimed at Greek football fans living abroad. And in November streaming platform NetTV Plus, aimed at Greeks living abroad, has started showing Greek Super League football, via a partnership with NovaSports World.