Wallenbergs’ Italian porn push goes limp

Sweden's Wallenberg family has been left out of pocket following the premature collapse of Italian sport and pornography television channel Dahlia TV.

Dahlia TV was declared bankrupt earlier this year after having failed to break into the Italian sport and porn broadcasting market, leaving debts of some 526 million kronor ($83 million), according to a report in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.

The Investor-owned Swedish firm Air P TV Development filed for bankruptcy on July fourth with barely 500,000 kronor in assets.

Among the channels offered by Dahlia TV were Dahlia Sport and Dahlia Extreme, as well as Dahlia Eros, which offered a range of softcore and hardcore pornographic movies.

Senior family member and former SEB bank CEO Jacob Wallenberg was himself on the board of Air P TV Development until Christmas, when he was advised to give up his post, according to the Resumé daily.

Dahlia TV’s Italian porn and sport fiasco cost a total of 1.2 billion kronor.

The firm’s latest funding round in the summer 2010 brought in some 400 million kronor from its owners and further 300 million from Italian bank Unicredit.

As part of its attempt to break into the Italian market, a process of renewal was launched to broaden its offering beyond sport and porn, but the competition promptly slashed their prices and forced the firm into reconstruction in the beginning of 2011.

Unicredit has the largest exposure to the bankrupt firm, with 276 million kronor, with the Investor’s share coming to 18 million and the Swedish tax authorities 10 million kronor.

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