U.K.'s ITV Among Firms Eyeing Scandinavian TV Producer Nice Entertainment (Report)

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The TV giant, which has been acquiring U.S. and European production outfits, is reportedly mulling a $135 million bid, with other entertainment companies also taking a look.

LONDON – U.K. TV giant ITV is among the companies mulling a $135 million (£90 million) deal for Scandinavian production firm Nice Entertainment Group, according to a British newspaper report.

A spokesman for the company, which has been acquiring U.S. and European TV producers to diversify its revenue beyond TV advertising and grow its international reach for TV show sales, said ITV doesn't comment on speculation.

The Times of London reported said that Helsinki-based Nice, which produces more than 100 dramas and reality TV shows, such as Hidden Tracks, The Half Brother and Celebrity Babysitter, would also be of interest to such suitors as Sony, Time Warner and Fremantle. The companies couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Among ITV's recent acquisitions are Duck Dynasty maker Gurney Productions, Thinkfactory Media, which produced History's Hatfields & McCoys, and Cake Boss maker High Noon Entertainment. Its other recent deals have included Graham Norton's So Television in the U.K., Mediacircus in Norway and Tarinatalo in Finland.

The Times reported that Finnish investment company Capman, which currently owns Nice, is looking to sell the company. It said that the firm's profit is set to rise 35 percent this year to $12.8 million.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai