New owners for Dutch TV company

20th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A joint venture between Finnish publisher Sanoma and Talpa, a company owned by Dutch media magnate John de Mol, has been selected to take over Dutch TV company SBS Nederland from its current owners, the German-based ProSiebenSat1.

SBS Nederland operates three channels in the Netherlands - Net 5, SBS6 and Veronica. It also owns two TV programme magazines, Veronica Magazine and Totaal TV, as well as production and teletext companies. They are also included in the deal, which must now be approved by the Netherlands Competition Authority NMa. This is expected to happen during the summer.

The Belgian arm of SBS will also be taken over by Sanoma, in partnership with two Belgian companies. The combined cost of the two transactions is 1.225 billion euros.

Talpa sees the takeover as a stragic investment. Its proposed 33 percent share in SBS Nederland, if approved by the Competition Authority, will be in addition to an existing 26.3 percent share in the other major Dutch commercial broadcaster, RTL Nederland, which also owns three TV channels plus market-leading Radio 538 and Radio 10 Gold.

Press reports indicate that RTL is not happy with Talpa's decision to invest in its major rival, and the long-term future of some of RTL's most popular shows produced by Talpa is now in question if the deal goes ahead.

Talpa was briefly active in the Dutch market with its own TV channel in 2005-2007, but low ratings and big financial losses forced the company to sell it to RTL Nederland.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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