John de Mol is said to be looking at taking full control of SBS Broadcasting in the Netherlands, reports Het Financiële Dagblad.
De Mol wants to acquire the 67% of shares in the Dutch private broadcaster from Sanoma Publishing for €373 million, valuing the company at €520 million. Sanoma and De Mol bought the Dutch assets of SBS, which includes SBS6, Net 5, Veronica and the Veronica TV guide, in the spring of 2011 for around €1 billion from the ProSiebenSat.1 group.
Ever since the acquisition, SBS experienced trouble in gaining higher audience figures leading to disappointing commercial results. According to unconfirmed rumours the relation between De Mol and Sanoma is not as it should be. At the moment, the four channels of the RTL group, RTL4, RTL5, RTL7 and RTL8, by far outperform the SBS channels.
De Mol now proposes to take full control of the broadcaster, offering to buy the 67% he doesn’t own and selling back his interest in the printed Veronica TV guide for €35 million.
In a statement, Sanoma said it is not interested in selling its stake in the broadcaster.