Talpa buys SBS channels

John de Mol’s Talpa Holding has acquired a 67% stake in the SBS Broadcasting business, giving it full control of the SBS6, NET5, Veronica and SBS9 channels.

John de Mol1Talpa bought the part of the business it did not own from Finnish publisher Sanoma. Accordingly, the deal also sees Talpa hand Sanoma its share of the TV guide business Veronica Uitgeverij.

Talpa Holding is distinct from Talpa Media, the production and distribution business now owned by UK broadcaster ITV. The Holding-branded company has, however, used its channels to launch formats, with Five Gold Rings the latest of its international properties to air on SBS.

Discovery Networks International, which owns the SBS channels in the Nordic region, was linked to a move for SBS in the Netherlands, but Talpa has now acquired the channels group.

“I strongly believe in a strong Dutch multimedia company that is flexible enough to respond to the changing media landscape, which is primarily a consequence of rapid technological developments,” John de Mol said today.

“SBS is a unique media asset which will be a key link in the new multimedia company. Access to innovative content and other platforms will be an important addition. The proposition that follows is interesting for viewers, readers, listeners, consumers and advertisers.”

Pim Schmitz, CEO of Talpa Holding, added: “The acquisition of SBS is a fantastic step towards building a Dutch multimedia company. After the inclusion of SBS, we will focus on further investments in OTT, print, online, data and concepts.”

The agreement needs regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter.

Sanoma said the sale come after a review of its operations that has seen it focus on businesses where it can be the market leader.

“The SBS divestment allows us to accelerate the deleveraging of our balance sheet and provides much more financial and strategic flexibility to grow our stronghold businesses,” said Susan Duinhoven, CEO and president of Sanoma.

“We are very pleased for our long term partner Talpa to acquire our stake in this unique asset. We have had a good cooperation with Talpa and we continue to explore the best ways to work with them also in the future to serve the interests of our customers.”