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Swedish paper: Telia confirms purchase bid for Finnish broadcaster MTV3

MTV3’s Swedish owner Bonnier Group reportedly has plans to offload all of its broadcast television operations.

Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Swedish news outlet Resumé reported Friday that Swedish media group Bonnier and the telephone and mobile network operator Telia are close to concluding a deal for the sale of Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV3.

Resumé said that Bonnier intends to offload all of its broadcast television operations and that apart from MTV3, the Swedish TV4 and commercial cable channel Cmore -- also part of the Bonnier broadcasting group -- are also up for sale. The total price tag for all of the broadcasters was estimated at around one billion euros.

Resumé, which is also part of the Bonnier Group, said that information about the deal came from several sources who say that the transaction will go public before Midsummer.

Meanwhile, Telia has confirmed that it is in talks to buy the Finnish TV channel. The company said that it is engaged in negotiations and is considering acquisitions that would strengthen its content services.

"We are in discussions with Bonnier about about a possible acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting," said Telia communications and public relations director Camilla Ekholm.

MTV3 chief executive Jarkko Nordlund told Yle, "We are positive about the development. We have no further comments at this time."

Business daily Taloussanomat was the first Finnish news outlet to pick up the story.

Telia aiming to expand online content

Meanwhile Telia shares were suspended from trading for about one hour on the Stockholm stock exchange on Friday, with the firm’s share price falling when trading resumed.

According to Resumé, Telia has long been in discussions to purchase content services. The company has had negotiations with Discovery to purchase its Nordic operations. However those talks have not yet resulted in any acquisitions.

Telia currently competes in the Nordic online media market with the likes of Tele2, which recently expanded its own broadband and content services with the purchase of Comhem, a Swedish provider offering cable television, broadband internet and phone services.

"In Finland we have purchased the right to SM-liiga [finland's professional hockey league] for six years. We have entered the content business that way. This strengthens our strategic direction," Ekholm noted.

More than 10 years ago, Bonnier purchased MTV3 from media firm Alma Media for a reported price tag of roughly 460 million euros.

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