Talpa buys SBS broadcasters from Sanoma in €237 million deal

Finnish media company Sanoma sold Dutch television broadcasters SBS to John de Mol's investment fund Talpa for 237 million euros, Sanoma announced on Monday. This mean's Talpa is now the sole owner of SBS6, Veronica, Net5 and SBS9, AD reports.

Talpa and Sanoma jointly bought SBS for over 1 billion euros in 2011. Talpa then acquired the minority share of 33 percent and Sanoma the rest. 

According to AD, De Mol decided to turn his full attention to SBS after it seemed to become clear that Talpa's bid for the Telegraaf Media Group would not win against the bid by Belgian newspaper company Mediahuis. He therefore turned to SBS to expand his media empire.

"With the sale of our shares, nothing changes for our advertisers in the short term", Peter de Monnink, CEO of Sanoma Nederland and SBS, said, according to AD. "For the future Sanoma continues to develop its strong brands cross-media through its magazines, events, online video channels sites and apps, with a strong focus on data and video."

Sanoma owns, among other things, Dutch magazines Libelle and Donald Duck and news site NU.nl. The company wants to focus on its parts that have a leading position in their market. Getting SBS to that point would take too much investment, which is why the Finnish company decided to sell. 

De Mol understands this decision. "At the same time this offers a unique opportunity to become 100 percent owner of SBS", John de Mol said in response. "I strongly believe in an independent Dutch media company that is flexible enough to adapt to the changing media landscape. The company that I want to build can offer content 24/7 across multiple platforms. This means that SBS will be part of a whole that is much wider than just television."

Talpa already owns a number of radio stations, including Radio 538, Veronica and Sky radio.