Mecom, headed by David Montgomery, the former Mirror Group chief executive, has continued its pursuit of European media assets with the purchase of the media arm of Orkla, a Norwegian conglomerate.
Orkla said in a regulatory statement yesterday that its board of directors had authorised the sale of Orkla Media Group for an undisclosed sum. As part of the transaction, Orkla also “intends to become a significant shareholder” in Mecom, but said that the size of the stake is yet to be determined.
Mecom was not available for comment.
Orkla Media has newspaper and website publishing divisions in Norway, Denmark and Poland as well as magazine operations in Norway and Sweden. The group has also moved into digital media in recent years in the Nordic countries and Germany, and has direct marketing operations in Lithuania and the Ukraine.
According to Orkla, the company has a 15 percent share of national circulation in Norway, 31 percent of the daily and 42 percent of the Sunday newspaper market in Denmark and a 19 percent share in Poland. Operating revenues for the group totalled NOK8.67 billion (€1.1 billion) in 2005, with operating profit before amortisation of NOK425 million.
Orkla said that upon completion of the purchase, Mecom will set up a European operation head office in Oslo. Mecom’s base is in London.