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SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 10 (SeeNews) - Swedish entertainment company Modern Times Group (MTG) said on Wednesday that it has completed the sale of its 95% stake in Bulgaria's Nova Broadcasting Group to local Advance Media Group, in an all-cash deal which values 100% of Nova at 185 million euro ($209 million).
"We are very pleased to have completed the sale of Nova. The proceeds will be used to accelerate the growth of our gaming and esports verticals, including through acquisition," Joeren Madsen Lindemann, MTG's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Last month, Advance Media Group received approval from Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition to acquire 100% of Nova Broadcasting Group - MTG's 95% stake and the 5% owned by Luxembourg-registered Eastern European Media Holdings.
In January, MTG decided to terminate its agreement to sell its stake in Nova Broadcasting Group to Dutch-registered investment group PPF.
"The termination of the agreement with PPF Group follows the decision by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition to disallow the proposed sale to PPF Group, as well as the expiration of an extended long-stop date under the sale and purchase agreement," MTG said at the time.
Nova Broadcasting Group comprises seven TV channels, as well as complementary online businesses that reach on average 74% of the Bulgarian population on a monthly basis, according to the statement. In 2018, the company generated sales of 1.15 billion Swedish crowns ($124 million/109 million euro) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 223 million Swedish crowns.
Nova Broadcasting Group employed 650 people at the end of 2018.
Advance Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advance Properties, which in turn is jointly owned by Bulgarian investors Kiril Domuschiev and Georgi Domuschiev. Advance Properties owns 117 companies across 23 countries, according to MTG's statement.
MTG entered Bulgaria in 2007 via the acquisition of Balkan Media Group Limited, which operated the Diema TV channels. In 2008, MTG bought Nova. In Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group's main rival is BTV Media Group, owned by Bermuda-registered Central European Media Enterprises.
($ = 0.8867 euro)