MTG sells controlling stake in broadband service provider Zitius

Modern Times Group (MTG) has agreed to sell its 80% stake in Swedish broadband service provider Zitius to TeliaSonera in a deal that values Zitius at SEK380 million (€42 million).

MTG said it had decided to sell the stake as the Swedish open access model – where multiple service providers can deliver services to end users over third-party access networks – had evolved to the point where it no longer made strategic sense to own a broadband service provider.

MTG acquired Zitius in August 2012 and invested in the expansion of the company’s operations. It said that Zitius had expanded its number of connected households by 12% and the number of households that subscribed to at least one of its services by 34% in the course of 2013.

“The Open Access market in Sweden has evolved rapidly over the last 16 months. The increased competition between communications operators has resulted in large contracts changing hands, as well as significant improvements in the services available in the different networks. This proves that the Open Access network model is both sustainable and benefits consumers through freedom of choice. As a result, it is no longer necessary for MTG to own Zitius,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO of MTG.

“We have a platform agnostic pay-TV strategy in the Nordic region and we will continue to offer our free TV and pay TV channels to subscribers in Zitius’ networks, as well as distribute our channel packages through a broad range of other third party pay-TV networks.”