Vodafone has signed a deal to purchase all assets and operations of the Icelandic media company 365, except for the newspaper Fréttablaðið and the magazine Glamour, according to RÚV.
Negotiations between the two companies had been ongoing since August of last year. The largest change since those initial negotiations is that the website Visir.is, which has been the second most popular news website in Iceland, and TV station Stöð 2 are part of the deal. Vodafone’s purchase means that 365 will now be debt-free.
Sævar Freyr Þráinsson, CEO of 365, quits his job immediately to take the position of mayor of Akranes, West Iceland. Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir takes over his position as CEO while the Icelandic Competition Authority reviews the deal.
CEO of Vodafone stated in an announcement to Nasdaq Iceland this morning that the independence of the news station will be guaranteed.
Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir, owner of 365, and her husband Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, held a meeting with the staff of 365 in the company’s cafeteria this morning to explain the situation.
The purchase price is between ISK 3.1 and ISK 3.2 billion (USD 27.6 -28.5 million, EUR 25.9 -26.8 million), and the purchase will be settled in mid-summer.
If the purchase goes through, Síminn and Vondafone will own the largest privately run TV stations in Iceland. Síminn operates Sjónvarp Símans (‘Síminn’s TV’) while Vodafone will be the owner of all of 365’s broadcast media: the TV stations Stöð 2, Stöð 2 Sport, Stöð 3 and Bíórásin, as well as the radio stations Bylgjan, FM957 and X-ið, among others.