Nordic, Baker in €270m pay-tv disposal

Private equity firms Nordic Capital and Baker Capital have sold C More Group, acquired in October 2003, to SBS Broadcasting.

Nordic Capital and Baker Capital have sold pay-tv operator C More Group to European media group SBS Broadcasting for €269.6 million in cash.
C More Group was formed when the two firms acquired Canal+ Television from Vivendi Universal in October 2003.

According to Anders Hultin, a partner at Nordic, the houses shared a €70 million equity investment in the company at the time. Each firm held a 50 percent stake in the company, which distributes the Canal+ channels to the Nordic region by satellite, cable and broadband.
Under private equity ownership, C More increased the number of channels available from three to five, renegotiated studio agreements and increased the focus on sports by securing the rights to show English FA Premier League and Italian Serie A football matches. The group also introduced new programmes and subscription on demand services.
Since October 2003, according to a Nordic press release, the channels have signed up more than 100,000 new subscribers bringing the total to over 770,000 and its annual turnover to €181 million.
C More Group has now been acquired by Kanal 5 Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of commercial television and radio broadcaster SBS Broadcasting. The private equity backers' return on the deal was not disclosed.
The deal, which is subject to competition authority approval, is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. The sellers received financial advice from Morgan Stanley, and legal advice from Vinge.
Nordic Capital is a Stockholm-based private equity firm focusing on investments in the Nordic midmarket sector. It is currently investing the 2002 vintage €1.5 billion Nordic Capital Fund V.
Recent months have seen deals including its €99 million tender for shares in playground equipment manufacturer Kompan, its acquisition of car trim maker Plastal, and its SEK1.37 billion investment in Swedish fashion retail chain KappAhl.
Founded in 1995, Baker Capital is a New York-based private equity firm. It currently manages assets worth $1.5 billion.