Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG) media concern has accepted the conditions of the Competition Council (CC) and finished the takeover of the Latvian Independent Television (LNT) channel.
«From this day forward, MTG Group takes over business management of LNT and will proceed to consolidate its financial indexes. LNT financial indexes will be included in the free Baltic television industry, which is part of the Baltic, Czech and Hungary’s of MTG’s quarterly financial report», stated in the company’s announcement.
It is also stated in MTG’s announcement that the purchase price of LNT is not to be published.
Manager of the Baltic branch of MTG Kaspars Ozolins notes that the Board of MTG in Sweded made the decision to comply with CC’s conditions and completed the deal in full accordance with the opinion MTG Baltic and TV 3, because two channels with two different administrations cannot hope to survive on the small market of Latvia.
Work in at both companies will go on as usual in the future, Ozolins said. But they do plan to perform the consolidation of the two administrations (keeping the independent news editorials intact). Afterwards, a part of the work will be transferred to LNT quarters in Riga, on Elijas Street – where there are more appropriate studios for both news broadcasts and the production of larger scale shows. «Show production will have one base», – he said.
LNT quarters will also be much closely situated to the «action center», unlike TV3 studios on Dzelzavas Street, Ozolins explained. When asked about the popular UgunsGrēks (FireSin) series, Ozolins said that it is being produced by independent producers, who will need to decide on their own whether to continue the producing the series in the current quarters or to move to a different location, for example, to Elijas Street.
«From now on, the Board of LNT will consist only of MTG people», but, at the same time, LNT will have a Public Council – consisting of both LNT representatives and MTG people, Ozolins said.
It was previously reported that the CC decided to allow MTG to purchase LNT. The deal was presented with additional conditions that were developed to prevent a threat to competition. At the same time the CC reserves the right, active until the end of 2017, to order the deal’s participants to sell a part of their assets to prevent the deal from causing significant damage to the market and consumers.