Swedish New Media Companies Merge for Survival

In an effort to challenge established media companies, three Swedish firms have combined their services.

Spray Ventures, Vision Media and former Bonnier news organization 25timmar.se announced a merger earlier this month to form Neutron.

Spray Ventures is a partner with digital company Razorfish, Inc., owning 40 percent of its Swedish operation, Spray Network. The company also owns Cirkus Media, which operates Net magazines Rival, Edge and Darling, and runs Swedish portal Spray.se.

To ready itself for the merger, Spray moved control of the magazines to Cirkus Media, leaving the rest of its operations to merge with Vision Media and 25timmar.se under the Neutron name. The company said it is planning on a name change in the near future, possibly to “iTid.”

With the merger, the combined company plans use Spray.se to compete against rival portals Passagen and Torget.

Along with the portal site, the combined Neutron will offer a news agency, business newsletters, magazines, a conference business and media guides.

“We see this as a start of something new,” said Per Bystedt, CEO of Spray Ventures and chairman of Neutron. “There are several new ways of distributing modern business information–everything from mainstream media to custom adopted mobile services. We plan to offer all of that.”

Spray Ventures will own over 50 percent of the new Neutron and the merged partners will own the remaining parts. No financial specifics were disclosed.

Mergers have been few so far in the Swedish Net business, but some say they will accelerate as several starters realize that they have to be bigger to survive.

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