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TDC accepts Macquarie takeover offer; Nokia to cut jobs

In this monthly Best of Nordics feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

TOP NEWS

* TDC A/S on Feb. 12 announced that its board is recommending investors back a revised takeover offer from a consortium comprising Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and Danish pension funds PFA, PKA and ATP. The consortium is offering 50.25 Danish kroner per TDC share. In the revised offer, TDC is now valued at 40 billion kroner, or $6.7 billion, according to Reuters. The Danish telecom operator rejected an earlier offer from the consortium, which brought a surge in the company's shares.

* Nokia Corp. on Feb. 15 said it is preparing to cut up to 425 full-time positions in Finland. The company has started negotiations with unions about the job cuts, which are part of a program to cut costs by €1.2 billion by the end of 2018.

M&A

* Modern Times Group agreed to sell 95% of its shares in Bulgarian unit NOVA Broadcasting Group AD to investment firm PPF Group for €185 million. The transaction values 100% of the business, according to a Feb. 19 news release.

* Following TDC's acceptance of the offer from the Macquarie-led consortium, the company will pull out from a $2.5 billion deal to buy Modern Times Group's broadcasting and entertainment assets.

* Telenor ASA has received unsolicited interest for its Central and Eastern Europe portfolio. The company said Jan. 26 that it has engaged in a process to evaluate the "inbound and unsolicited" interest and expects to conduct these assessments in the first quarter.

CONTENT, CARRIAGE AND LICENSING DEALS

* Discovery Communications Inc.'s inaugural foray into Olympic coverage yielded some large audiences across Europe over the first weekend of the Pyeongchang Games. A look at individual territories showed that Discovery's Kanal 5 in Sweden notched a 73% audience share Feb. 10, when Swedish cross-country skier Charlotte Skalla earned the first gold medal from Pyeongchang.

* Discovery Communications' Eurosport (UK) struck a deal to expand coverage of the 2018 Winter Games via Facebook Inc.'s social network across Europe, according to a Feb. 9 news release. The deal enables Eurosport to livestream the opening ceremony from Pyeongchang, South Korea, to Facebook viewers in Germany, Sweden and Norway.

REGULATORY AND LEGAL

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has cleared the way for Spotify AB to pursue its reported direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street's chief regulator approved the NYSE's proposal to begin offering direct listings as a fast track for companies to go public, according to an SEC filing.

* Bulgarian investment fund River Styxx Capital failed to secure the consent of the Serbian central bank to purchase an 85% stake in Telenor banka ad Beograd from Norwegian mobile operator Telenor ASA, Vecernje novosti reported Feb. 6. The regulator determined that the new investor does not meet conditions defined by Serbian regulations.

* The European Commission on Feb. 6 said it will look into Apple Inc.'s proposed acquisition of U.K.-based music recognition app Shazam Entertainment Ltd. following a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

* Swedish video-on-demand company Voddler AB has filed for bankruptcy, regional tech and startup website Breakit reported Jan. 29. A bankruptcy request has been submitted to the Stockholm District Court, after attempts to find a buyer reportedly failed.

OTHER NEWS

* Nokia said it has begun a strategic review of its Digital Health business which includes hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices. The Finnish company said that its ?patent business, brand partnerships and technology licensing units are not in the scope of the strategic review?.

* Ericsson AB on Jan. 31 reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2017 as the company recorded 14.5 billion Swedish kronor of impairment in the quarter. It also announced plans to sell its 51% stake in its Media Solutions business to private equity firm One Equity Partners.