RTL Group fully acquired United Screens, a multi-platform network (MPN) in the Nordic countries. The transaction was closed on 2 January 2018. RTL Group plans to invest SEK 25 million (€2.6 million) to fund the company’s growth plan across the Nordic region. United Screens was acquired for “for a price of SEK 120 million (€12.4 million) on a debt and cash-free basis subject to usual post-closing adjustments.”
United Screens generates over 500 million video views a month on YouTube and represents hundreds of influencers in music, lifestyle, and entertainment across all social media platforms. The company was founded by Malte Andreasson, Stina Bergfors and Bonnier Ventures in 2013 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices in Oslo, Norway, and Helsinki, Finland. Bonnier Ventures financed the company since the early start. Before the foundation of United Screens, Malte Andreasson worked as Scheduling Director for the Swedish channel TV4, while Stina Bergfors was the Country Director for Google and YouTube in Sweden. Malte Andreasson continues to head United Screens as CEO.
United Screens focuses on talent and brings together creators and brands on online video platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, etc. United Screens has over 500 channels and personalities in its premium network on YouTube. Previously, United Screens has been working with YouTube stars like Sp4zie, Therese Lindgren, PelleK and GTboard.com.
According to United Screens, in 2016, its third full year of operation, United Screens increased the annual turnover to SEK 80.4 million. This is an increase of 50% compared with the previous year. Also, viewing increased significantly during the year and United Screens is now the second largest commercial channel between the ages of 15 and 45 in Sweden after passing TV3 and Channel 5.
To RTL, this is an “expansion of its footprint as the leading European media company in online video. Since its foundation in late 2013, United Screens has shown excellent growth. Based on a hand-picked premium selection from many of the best video creators in the Nordics, and an award-winning sales team, United Screens has developed state-of-the-art branded content campaign capabilities. As a result, branded content represents 50 percent of United Screens’ total revenue. The acquisition complements RTL Group’s existing MPN portfolio, which includes Los Angeles-based StyleHaul, Berlin-based Divimove, and Vancouver-based BroadbandTV.”
“This acquisition is another step in accelerating our ‘Total Video’ strategy, as United Screens strengthens our MPN presence in Europe. With our highly popular creators and leading market positions in each territory, RTL Group is the only European company to offer advertisers pan-European digital video campaigns in premium and brand-safe environments,” said RTL Group CEO Bert Habets, who has become Chairman of the Board of United Screens following the transaction.