Gov­ern­ment au­tho­rizes Bite Li­etuva to ac­quire TV3, LNT and Star FM

The Baltic Times - - BALTIC NEWS - LETA/TBT Staff

The Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters to­day au­tho­rized UAB BITE Li­etuva, Lithua­nian com­pany con­trolled by the U.S. in­vest­ment com­pany Prov­i­dence Equity Part­ners, to ac­quire de­ci­sive in­flu­ence in Lat­vian com­pa­nies TV3 Latvia, Latvi­jas Neatkariga Tele­viz­ija, and Star FM.

The deal still has to clear the Com­pe­ti­tion Coun­cil.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment, the three Lat­vian me­dia hold a sub­stan­tial share of the Lat­vian me­dia mar­ket and are im­por­tant to na­tional se­cu­rity of Latvia. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law, ob­tain­ing de­ci­sive in­flu­ence (or 100 per cent of shares) in such com­pa­nies re­quires the Cab­i­net of Min­is­ters' per­mis­sion.

Said pro­vi­sion in the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law came into force on March 29, and this is the first such ac­qui­si­tion deal that had to be con­sid­ered by the gov­ern­ment.

Be­fore tak­ing the de­ci­sion, the Cab­i­net an­a­lysed in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by na­tional se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties, Bite Li­etuva, and other sources.

Ac­cord­ing to the State Chan­cellery, based on in­for­ma­tion avail­able to the chan­cellery, Bite Li­etuva is ac­quir­ing all MTG Broad­cast­ing AB com­pa­nies in Latvia.

The Com­pe­ti­tion Coun­cil has been look­ing into the merger re­port since end-may.

As re­ported, MTG an­nounced at end-march that it had sold its broad­cast­ing busi­nesses in Es­to­nia, Latvia and Lithua­nia to Prov­i­dence Equity Part­ners.

MTG said the cash trans­ac­tion val­ues 100 per cent of the busi­ness at an en­ter­prise value of EUR 115 mil­lion, and the sale re­flects MTG'S on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion from tra­di­tional na­tional broad­caster into a global dig­i­tal en­ter­tainer.

MTG has been op­er­at­ing in Latvia since 1998 and owns five TV chan­nels (TV3, TV3+, TV6, Kanals 2 and LNT) here as well as a ra­dio sta­tion, Starfm, and In­ter­net por­tals Tv­play and Skaties. MTG also owns TV com­pany Vi­asat Eesti and three TV chan­nels (TV3, TV3+, TV6) in Es­to­nia, and runs TV chan­nels TV3, TV3+, TV6 and Vi­asat Sport Baltic in Lithua­nia.

Prov­i­dence Equity Part­ners con­trols the Baltic mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany Bite Group and has a 28.5 per cent stake in the In­ter­net and ca­ble tele­vi­sion com­pany Balt­com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.