Telenor merges TV distributors Viasat Consumer and Canal Digital to form Allente

Norwegian telecom major Telenor on Monday announced the completion of its previously announced combination of Viasat Consumer and Canal Digital into a new joint venture company. The two TV distributors have now become one, and the new company will go by the name Allente, Telenor said.

The closing of the transaction creates a large-scale player that can compete on a Nordic level, make sustained investments in content and technology, deliver even better combined customer offerings, and generate substantial revenue and cost synergies.
The new company, known as Allente, will offer TV distribution via satellite, streaming services as well as IPTV solutions, and fibre broadband via open networks to 1.2 million customers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
“The TV industry is developing tremendously, however it is not every day that a new, major TV distributor enters into the playing field. We are incredibly proud of our employees and the efforts they have put in lately. It is impressive to see everyone’s ‘can do’ spirit and how they always put customers first. We are looking forward to continue doing so in Allente,” says CEO of Allente, Bjørn Ivar Moen.
NENT Group and Telenor Group each hold 50 per cent of the shares in the new company, which is headquartered in Stockholm and Oslo. The joint venture will operate at an arm’s length from NENT Group and Telenor Group, and is an open platform providing content from multiple providers.
Telenor Group, a leading telecommunications company across the Nordics and Asia with slightly below 186 million customers and annual sales of around $12 billion (2019), had last month warned of uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 situation and that it would likely hit its financials throughout 2020.
In a statement, CEO Sigve Brekke said the company started to see the impact from the global spread of the crisis on its performance from the latter part of March, as it experienced lockdown situations in many markets.
“This is in particular affecting roaming revenues and Asian prepaid markets. These effects are continuing into the second quarter,” said Brekke.
The company said while its Q1 results were in line with external guidance, provided in the prior quarter, it was facing an uncertain outlook for the remainder of the year.
Telenor expects lower subscription, traffic revenue and EBITDA growth than previously indicated, while capex-to-sales ratio, excluding licences and spectrum, is expected to be around 13 per cent.
Revenue for the period increased from from NOK26.6 billion ($2.6 billion) in Q1 2019 to NOK31 billion, NOK2.4 billion of which was related to the consolidation of DNA in Finland.
Net income attributable to shareholders, however, slipped to NOK698 million, a decrease of NOK3.1 billion, mostly due to currency losses and depreciations.
Mobile subscriptions reached 185.6 million, up from 176 million, driven by customer growth of more than a million in Myanmar and Pakistan, and increases in Denmark.
This was offset by losses in Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand.