RTL Group and John de Mol’s Talpa Media Holding today announced that they have signed an asset deal in the Netherlands. Radio 538 will be integrated in RTL Nederland, which will also acquire TV assets from Talpa Media, such as sports rights and successful Dutch shows and drama series. Talpa Media will receive a 26.3% stake in RTL Nederland. Talpa’s own TV channel Tien will cease broadcasting and the most successful programming will be tranfered to the three RTL channels in the country, RTL4, RTL5 and RTL7. Following the closure of Tien about one hundred people will be laid off.
In addition to the transfer of assets, RTL Nederland will obtain a first look in the Netherlands of all formats developed by John de Mol’s Creative Unit in the context of a volume deal. RTL Nederland will share in the worldwide profits of the formats that have been shown on one of RTL’s Dutch TV stations. The agreement has been signed by Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, John de Mol, majority shareholder of Talpa Media Holding and Fons van Westerloo, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Nederland.
Gerhard Zeiler, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, said in a prepared statement: “Under the leadership of Fons van Westerloo our profit centre in the Netherlands has made fantastic progress since 2003. With this transaction, we partner with John de Mol, an outstanding entrepreneur and one of the most creative minds in our business. RTL Nederland will become a fully integrated audiovisual company, combining RTL’s complementary family of TV channels and the country’s leading radio station.”
John de Mol’s view on the deal in a press release: “This is a great day for Talpa Media. The connection to the RTL network in the Netherlands opens up the opportunity for Talpa to develop creative content for several platforms in this country and to exploit the content for the international market.”
Fons van Westerloo, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Nederland said about the partnership: “We started negotiations with Talpa in December and have reached an excellent agreement. A radio station with the target group and the reach of Radio 538, perfectly fits in with the existing activities of RTL Nederland. We also preserve the successful programmes of Talpa Media. We are proud that a man of John de Mol’s stature is joining our ranks as an important shareholder.”
For the time being, the television channel Tien will continue broadcasting in its current form. The deal is subject to approval of the RTL Group Board of Directors. Also, the agreement will be presented for approval to the Netherlands Competition Authorities (NMa).