Nordic World CEO Espen Huseby (pictured) has completed a management buyout from Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that will see him become the sole owner and chairman of the Scandinavian distributor.
The deal, which has been financed by private equity, follows TV2′s recent announcement that it will re-focus on its primary broadcast business by cutting more than US$42 million (€38 million) over the next three years from non-strategic operations.
Nordic World will continue as the Norwegian broadcaster’s preferred distributor, with exclusive first-look rights to its in-house content. The agreement replicates the distribution model established between Nordic World and former co-owner TV4 Sweden, which withdrew ownership in 2014 as a result of a similar restructuring.
In addition, Huseby is currently negotiating with a raft of potential investors throughout the U.S. and UK regarding the growth of the sales house, which currently holds a catalog of more than 600 titles across the formats, drama, factual and documentary genres.
The Oslo-based distributor is also slated to announce a new board of directors in the coming weeks.
Nordic World was formed in 2005 by major broadcasters in the Nordic region – including TV4 Sweden, TV2 Norway, TV2 Denmark, MTV3 Finland and NRK Norway – to provide a platform for Nordic-originated content. It will continue to promote and coordinate the distribution efforts of its former owners, as well as its growing community of producers.
“In response to market dynamics, TV2′s focus has changed over the past decade and owning a distribution company is no longer a primary activity,” said Trond Håndlykken Kvernstrøm, director of channels and programming at TV2, in a statement. “However, the export of content remains an important revenue stream, and Nordic World, with its first-look agreement with TV2, is positioned to be an important player in generating this.”
“This is not only a fresh start for Nordic World, but a return to our corporate roots as a shop window to the world for the best Nordic content,” added Huseby.