The RTL Group has acquired United Screens, the leading multi-platform network (MPN) in the Nordic countries.
The investment sees the RTL Group expand its footprint as the leading European media company in online video. Since its foundation in late 2013, United Screens has shown excellent growth. Based on a hand-picked premium selection from many of the best video creators in the Nordics, and an award-winning sales team, United Screens has developed state-of-the-art branded content campaign capabilities. As a result, branded content represents 50 per cent of United Screens’ total revenue. The acquisition complements RTL Group’s existing MPN portfolio, which includes Los Angeles-based StyleHaul, Berlin-based Divimove and Vancouver-based BroadbandTV.
United Screens said the acquisition and investment gave it “substantial” additional resources to grow and develop even faster, and allowed it to accelerate its YouTube and multi-platform network together with all its creators, partners and clients of United Screens network.
“This acquisition is another step in accelerating our ‘Total Video’ strategy, as United Screens strengthens our MPN presence in Europe,” commented RTL Group CEO Bert Habets, who has become Chairman of the Board of United Screens following the transaction. “With our highly popular creators and leading market positions in each territory, RTL Group is the only European company to offer advertisers pan-European digital video campaigns in premium and brand-safe environments.”
“We, at United Screens, are proud and excited to now be a part of RTL Group, a global leader in online video,” declared Malte Andreasson, Co-Founder and CEO of United Screens. “This allows us to accelerate our strategy and grow our presence in the Nordics. At United Screens, we will continue striving for the best for our creators, partners and clients. We are happy that RTL Group shares our high ambitions for the future, and we will aim for an even stronger position in the Nordic media market.”
“The most exciting about this is that we will continue to do exactly what we’ve been doing for years now: changing the media landscape,” he added. “That means that we are changing the premises for creators and advertisers to work with online video.”
United Screens generates over 500 million video views a month on YouTube and represents hundreds of influencers in music, lifestyle and entertainment across all social media platforms. The company was founded by Andreasson, Stina Bergfors and Bonnier Ventures in 2013 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices in Oslo, Norway and Helsinki, Finland. Bonnier Ventures financed the company since the early start. Before the foundation of United Screens, Malte Andreasson worked as Scheduling Director for the Swedish channel TV4, while Bergfors was the Country Director for Google and YouTube in Sweden. Andreasson continues to head United Screens as CEO.
The purchase agreement provides for a price of SEK 120 million (€12.4 million) on a debt and cash-free basis subject to usual post-closing adjustments. Additionally, RTL Group plans to invest SEK 25 million (€2.6 million) to fund the company’s growth plan across the Nordic region.