Consortiums led by Finnish media company Sanoma have bought the Belgian and Dutch assets of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 for 1.23 billion euros.
Sanoma, which already owns the highest-circulation magazine business in the Netherlands, will take a 67 per cent stake in the Dutch arm of broadcaster SBS with the remaining 33 per cent owned by Talpa, the holding company of John de Mol, who helped create the Big Brother television show.
In Belgium, Sanoma, local media group Corelio and the Woestijnvis production company, will take equal 33 per cent stakes.
The assets that are part of today’s agreement, including the VT4 and VIJF channels in Belgium and the SBS 6, Net5 and Veronica TV and magazine in the Netherlands, had sales of 404 million euros in 2010 and earnings before interest and taxes of 110 million euros.
SBS has a 27 per cent share of the Dutch TV advertising market and a 24 per cent share of viewers. In the Dutch-speaking Flanders market, SBS has a 16 per cent share of the TV audience and a 25 per cent of advertising.
– Sanoma will become a leading media player in the Netherlands and considerably stronger in Belgium, Sanoma chief executive, Harri-Pekka Kaukonen said in a statement.
Kaukonen said the acquisition would allow for cross-promotion between TV, print and online platforms.
The deal will require approval from Dutch competition authorities. It is expected to close this summer.
Sanoma’s assets include Finland’s main newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, as well as the Nelonen, Jim and Liv free-to-air TV stations, cable, radio, books and magazines. The company merged its TV and magazine operations into the Sanoma Media division at the beginning of the year, saying it aimed to expand in both areas in Europe.