NENT Group to divest unscripted production business
January 29, 2020
Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the Nordic streaming company, is reorganising NENT Studios – its content production and distribution business that comprises 32 companies in 17 countries – into a new organisation focused on scripted drama production, both series and movies, and distribution. As part of the reorganisation, the unscripted production, branded entertainment and events businesses will be divested. NENT Group also intends to bring a minority equity partner into its scripted drama production business, in order to contribute to the further development of the output and operations.
NENT Group said the reorganisation reflects its focus on the growth potential in scripted drama and the significant synergies with its Viaplay streaming service. Viaplay premiered 21 original productions in 2019, expects to premiere more than 30 original productions in 2020, and has the ambition to premiere a minimum of 40 original productions per year in the future.
The new and focused scripted production business will comprise NENT Studios’ Nordic production companies Brain Academy Nordics, Nice Drama, EPIQ and Monster Scripted; its CEE production company Paprika; NENT Studios’ UK operations including DRG and NENT Group’s joint venture with FilmNation Entertainment; its US based scripted production company Brain Academy US; and NENT Group’s investment in the Los Angeles based studio Picturestart. The organisation will be focused on developing a comprehensive slate of new formats and selling existing ones internationally. NENT Studios’ scripted production and distribution companies together account for approximately 45 per cent of its total sales and a significant proportion of its profits.
NENT Studios’ successful non-scripted production, branded entertainment, and events companies primarily work with external clients and comprise Strix, Baluba, Monster Entertainment, Novemberfilm, Moskito, Rakett, Strong Productions, and Production House; Splay One; Playroom, One Big Happy Family, and Grillifilms, respectively.
The sales process will be conducted during the first half of 2020 and NENT Group has appointed ACF as financial advisers for the sale of the non-scripted production and events companies, and Stella EOC for the sale of the branded entertainment business Splay One, which will be conducted separately.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO, said: “This reorganisation reflects how important it is for us to focus even further on the opportunity we have with scripted original content, its relevance for our Viaplay streaming service and the expansion ambitions that we have for the coming years. We therefore have a clear ambition to grow the number of NENT Studios produced Viaplay Originals. We have also proven that these and many other shows are attractive to international media partners, who have picked up the rights for key territories around the world. We have had talks with several third parties who have expressed strong interest in investing in the exciting journey with the reorganised NENT Studios. Our successful non-scripted, branded entertainment and events companies primarily work with third party clients, which is why we believe that they will benefit from new owners that are more focused on these segments of the market.”