Market Watch

Telia’s TV4 Sale: Navigating the Broadcasting Sector Shifts

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Telecommunications colossus Telia of Sweden has reportedly set its sights on offloading its broadcasting sector, TV4. This information, broached by Affaersvaerlden, a Swedish news outlet, indicates that negotiations are underway with potential buyers like Schibsted of Norway, Bonnier of Sweden, and Denmark’s Egmont.

Notably, Telia happened upon ownership of TV4 Group in 2019 via a SEK 10 billion ($960.2 million) deal with Bonnier. Regrettably, the shine of this acquisition has now waned significantly. Telia gives partial blame for TV4’s dwindling value to the drop in advertising revenue, and hinderances with premium sports content.

Given the situation, it is postulated that if TV4 is indeed auctioned off, the sale price may settle around SEK 5 billion ($480 million). Alarmingly, it could fall even lower to a range of SEK 3 – 4 billion ($288 – 384 million). In conversation with Reuters, Telia spokesperson Tobias Gyhlenius elaborated on the speculation; “We don’t comment on rumours and speculations. The media industry is in a big shift, our focus is on returning the TV and media business to profitable sustainable growth, accelerate its digitalization, and become even more relevant for viewers and advertisers.”

Casting more shadows on Telia’s acquisition, Jan Scherman, TV4’s previous CEO, openly criticizes the deal implying it to be a regrettable err in decision. Shedding light on his views, he voiced to the news programme on TV4 that “Telia didn’t understand what company they were getting into, and TV4 didn’t really understand Telia. It was not a perfect match.” Further adding fuel to fire, he quipped that the initial selling price of the unit might have been exceedingly high, jesting that “the Bonnier family must have laughed all the way to the bank!”

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