Denmark’s Egmont takes control of Norway’s largest commercial broadcaster
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
Already controlling 50% of the company, Danish media concern Egmont International Holding is now the sole owner of Norway’s largest commercial broadcaster TV2 Norge, after it bought the remaining shares from Norway’s A-pressen for €273.26 million, it was announced yesterday (January 9).
One of the largest media enterprises in Scandinavia, Egmont last year posted its so-far best annual result, from a €13.5 billion turnover in 2010. With a 6,500 staff, operating in 30 countries, it runs – among others – the region’s largest film company, Nordisk Film Production A/S, and Norway’s most extensive publishing business.
A co-founder and part-owner of TV2 since its instigation in 2011, Egmont had preemptive rights to the stocks which the A-pressen – controlled by Telenor and the Norwegian unions (LO) – originally put up for sale to purchase Edda Media from the UK’s Mecom. This deal was concluded on December 5 last year.
”We want TV2 Norge to carry on focussing on news, sports and entertainment. Egmont will guarantee that it continues as an independent media house, with a Norwegian profile, building on good and strong relations with the Norwegian people,” said Egmont concern chief Steffen Kragh.
TV2 Norge Chairman and Egmont Financial Director Hans J Carstensen added that the company is now not only a TV channel, but a content provider for several platforms. ”We find it important TV2 Norge has a local, Norwegian management, backing the agreement with the state that it is a public broadcaster headquartered in Bergen.”
Political efforts to keep the ownership of TV2 Norge on Norwegian hands – or shared by Egmont, Telenor and Sweden’s Bonnier Media – failed. Having acquired Mecom’s Norwegian division, A-pressen is now the countries No 1 newspaper publisher, controlling 26.5% of the daily circulation.