Norsemen Battle for Control of Media Group

05 January 2005

Norway's largest media group, Schibsted, on Monday bought an option for an additional 5.9% holding in Sweden's largest commercial channel, TV4.

This is Schibsted's latest move to snatch control of TV4 from Bonnier, a family-owned Swedish publishing group. Schibsted bought the option from Swedish agricultural union LRF. If taken-up, it will hike Schibsted's overall stake in TV4 to 26%.

At the same time, Schibsted has launched an unsolicited €705 million ($937.3m; £497.66m) bid for Finland's Alma Media, the biggest Nordic television company, which in turn controls 23.4% of TV4.

The move is part of the Schibsted and Bonnier camps' battle royal to expand their media operations within the Nordic region. But it may be that the Bonnier family holds the balance of power insofar as it controls two Alma Media board seats.

Come back Erik Bloodaxe, all is forgiven!

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff