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Investors circle Nordic World

The owners of Nordic World are looking for a new partner in the distribution firm and a deal is likely within weeks, TBI has learned.

espen_husebyThe business is solely owned by Norwegian commercial broadcaster TV2 after its founding partner, Swedish broadcaster TV4, pulled out last year.

TV2 subsequently recruited financial advisors to find a new partner and TBI understands there are two, possibly three, potential investors left in the latter stages of the process, which has lasted for several months. A deal is expected before end-2015, or in very early 2016.

Contacted by TBI, Nordic World CEO Espen Huseby (pictured) confirmed that TV2 has been looking for a new partner in the business. “TV2 is not looking to sell the company, it is looking for an industrial partner that it can combine with, and take the company to the next level,” he said.

Huseby would not comment on the remaining bidders vying for a piece of Nordic World, but it is thought TV2 would like a broadcaster partner, retaining a similar partnership model as when it was allied with TV4. The new partner is, however, likely to come from beyond the Nordic region as the company seeks to expand globally.

The Nordic World CEO added that he wanted, and expected to, stay with the company after the new investors join. “Personally, I would like to be part of it and help take it to the next level,” he said. “I think the company philosophy will remain the same.”

Dining_In-Israel-&-GazaNordic World has been seeking to move beyond its regional base and has been striking content deals with rights owners away from its core local footprint, including Boxatricks in the UK, as well as opening new international offices.

It was rocked earlier this year after Absolutely Independent, the Dutch formats house it had bought into as part of its international expansion, was forced to file for bankruptcy, as first reported in TBI.

The bankruptcy process is now complete, with most of the Absolutely IP reverting to its original owners. The company remains keen, however, on forging ahead with international expansion plans.

Nordic World sells finished shows including Norwegian comedy series Dag and Next Summer, and formats including Dining with the Enemy (pictured), Babes on the Bus and Farm Factor. It recently sealed representation deals with pan-Scandinavian producer Monday Media and Norway’s Feelgood Scene Film & TV.