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FORT advised Modern Times Group in the sale of its Baltic businesses

On 18, 10 2017 | No Comments | In Uncategorized | By Kadri Lensment

MTG has completed the sale of its free-TV, pay-Tv, digital and radio businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to Providence Equity Partners, a global asset management firm, who already owns BITĖ Lietuva, a mobile operator active in Latvia and Lithuania.

The deal is valued at EUR 115 million and involves among other things:

    • the largest TV-channel portfolio in the Baltics (TV3, TV3+, TV6, LNT, Viasat Sport Baltic etc.);
    • the third largest pay-Tv operator in the Baltic region (Viasat AS);
    • the leading subscription video streaming service (Viaplay);
    • nationwide commercial radio stations (Star FM, Power Hit Radio, Radio Volna);
    • digital assets and an online advertising consultancy operating across the Baltic (Smart AD).

FORT, working alongside Hamilton in Sweden, global counsel for MTG, and in liaison with Skopiņa & Azanda in Latvia, provided full competition and regulatory support and advice to MTG throughout the process, which included inter alia:

    • screening of potential and actual bidders for potential competition and regulatory risks before and during the auction process;
    • competition law advice for the appropriate handling of potentially sensitive information during the buyer’s due diligence process and between signing and closing of the transaction;
    • support and advice in obtaining the regulatory / government approvals from the Cabinet of Ministers in Latvia (the first of its kind under the new Latvian law on National Security) and from the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania;
    • support and advice in obtaining the merger clearances from the Latvian and Lithuanian Competition Councils.

Our pan-Baltic team in this matter was led by Rene Frolov and included Andrius Mamontovas and Aistė Samuilytė-Mamontovė in Lithuania, Ieva Azanda of Skopiņa & Azanda in Latvia and others.

See MTG’s announcement of the deal (on March 17, 2017) here and of its successful closing (on October 18, 2017) here.