Telia buys broadcaster Bonnier for $1 billion

STOCKHOLM–Nordic telecommunications operator Telia Company AB (TELIA.SK) has acquired Nordic television broadcaster Bonnier Broadcasting for 9.2 billion Swedish kronor ($1.03 billion), as it looks to further tap into customer’s growing appetite for video consumption, it said Friday.

Bonnier Broadcasting is owned by media group Bonnier AB and includes the brands TV4, C More and Finnish MTV.

"The acquisition is a natural next step to complement Telia Company’s core business, where our millions of customers give us a very strong position in the market," said Telia’s Chief Executive Johan Dennelind.

The way in which information and entertainment is produced, distributed and consumed is profoundly being transformed and the acquisition strengthens Telia in the fast-growing area of video content consumption, the company said.

The acquisition won’t affect Telia’s share-buyback program or dividend policy and is expected to generate synergies from 2020 with a full run rate of SEK600 million in 2022.

The deal is expected to be completed during the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.

In a separate announcement, Telia posted second-quarter net profit of SEK2.16 bllion, swinging from a loss of SEK291 million the prior year.

Sales totaled SEK20.81 billion, up from SEK19.79 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a net profit of SEK2.58 billion on sales of SEK20.27 billion.

The company maintained its full-year guidance that free cash flow from continuing operations, excluding licenses and spectrum fees, as well as dividends from associated companies, will be above last year’s levels.

Adjusted Ebitda from continuing operations is still expected to be in line or slightly above the 2017 level.

Write to Dominic Chopping at [email protected]; @domchopping, @WSJNordics

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