Persgroep offers €245m for Mecom

Persgroep has put in an offer for the British media company Mecom, mother company of Wegener which publishes local papers such as De Stentor and the Eindhovense Dagblad, the companies announced on Monday.

De Persgroep, which includes papers such as De Volkskrant, AD and Trouw, has offered 169 million pounds for Mecom, which is around €245 million. According to Z24, company heads have aready agreed with De Persgroep about conditions of the bid.

The Belgian company will finance the offer in part from own resources and in part through a loan from BNP Paribas.

De Persgroep has already been promised 44 percent of the outstanding shares. Directors of Mecom, insurer Aviva and several asset managers with interest in Mecom are prepared to step away from their shares.

De Persgroep will call the offer unconditional if a minimum of 75 percent of the shares is offered. If the company has 90 percent of the shares in hand, then a 'forced buyout procedure' will be started against the remaining shareholders.

Last year, Mecom saw its turnover drop to €808 million. The company has been in trouble for some time now with the drop in incomes from advertisements.

With the takeover, De Persgroep will also become active in Denmark, where Mecom publishes two national newspapers and several regional papers. Next to that, Mecom also owns Media Groep Limburg.

Persgroep chief Christian Van Thillo says that the takeover is necessary to turn newspapers into profitable multimedia-brands. Mecom said that the proposed transacition is a good result from the strategica re-orientation of the last two years.