MTG in $834m refinancing agreement

European media giant Modern Times Group has refinanced its debt arrangement by agreeing to a new SEK5.5 billion (US$834.3 million) credit facility and SEK1 billion loan.

The new arrangement replaces an existing SEK6.5 billion credit facility due for repayment in October 2015. It is provided by eight international banks and was self-arranged by MTG.

MTG – which operates numerous free and pay TV channels across Europe, owns producer Strix and more recently acquired UK distributor DRG and Nordic prodco Novemberfilm through its MTG Studios arm – had net debt of SEK373 million as of September 30, 2013, the company confirmed, which was equivalent to 0.3 times the group’s previous 12 months earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

“We have now successfully arranged new long-term financing for the Group at attractive pricing levels. This reflects our healthy growth and strong cash flow generation as well as our good relationships with the banks,” said MTG’s CFO Mathias Hermansson.

“The new structure will support our ongoing strategic development, as well as our ambition to explore a potential diversification of funding sources moving forward. We will continue the accelerated pace of our investments in growth whilst also continuing to generate healthy total shareholder returns.”

Last year, Jørgen Madsen replaced the long-serving Hans-Holger Albrecht. Since then, it has focused on growing its international content business through MTG Studios, which former Zodiak acquisitions boss Patrick Svensk oversees as chairman.

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