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MTG issues $58m bond in new funding plan

Modern Times Group has issued an SEK500 million (US$58.2 million) corporate bond, with the proceeds in part boosting the European broadcaster’s existing short-term funding.

Jorgen Madsen LindemannThe notes are to be listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, and have been placed with Swedish and international investors, according to the group.

“This is our second listed bond offering and investor interest was again high,” said MTG chief financial officer Maria Redin. “This issue further enhances the mix of our funding structures, and provides long-term funding for the continued development of the business and delivery of our strategy.”

MTG is raising funds following cost-cutting and staff reductions measures that were part of a plan to restructure the business as a ‘digital entertainment company’, rather than a traditional broadcaster reliant on ad sales.

MTG has made a number of investments in digital networks including Turtle Entertainment, spending heavily on the emerging eSports gaming market.

Further to that, MTG has concluded a deal with European satellite firm M7 Group, which will see the thematic esportsTV made available on M7 platforms in the Netherlands (Canal Digitaal), Belgium (TV Vlaanderen), the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Skylink). esportsTV launched in May as the world’s first dedicated, 24/7 eSports channel.

“eSports is the world’s fastest growing professional sport and is expected to engage more than 250 million people already this year, said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, president and CEO, MTG. “It is also a hugely popular entertainment format that is pulling in massive online viewing and attracting big stadium audiences around the world, and esportsTV will raise awareness levels even further.”

“We are very excited to have an agreement with MTG that allows us to offer esportsTV with content from the largest and most important tournaments around the world,” said M7’s VP of business development, Bill Wijdeveld.

“Moreover, the launch of esportsTV fits very well with our strategy to broaden our content portfolio and thereby address new and under-served audiences.”