Market leader Radio 538 changes ownership

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Talpa, the company of Dutch media magnate John de Mol, has reacquired market-leading Radio 538 from RTL Netherlands, along with sister stations Radio 10 Gold and Slam! FM.

Despite the recent recession and a declining advertising market, Radio 538 has been a stable source of income for RTL. The advertising market is now growing again, and in 2010 Radio 538 had advertising sales of 56 million euros, almost six percent more than in 2009.

RTL Netherlands has owned Radio 538 since June 2007, as part of the deal that saw John de Mol sell his failed television channel Tien to RTL, who relaunched it as RTL8. In return Mr De Mol received a stake of 26.3 percent of RTL Netherlands.

He now has to divest himself of those shares as he has become a shareholder in RTL’s main rival SBS. The Dutch Competition Authority NMa said last Friday that otherwise Mr De Mol, who also produces and sells TV programmes, would have too much power in the commercial television market.

RTL Group, the parent company of RTL Netherlands, used its first right to purchase Mr de Mol’s shares. Financial terms were not disclosed.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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