NU.nl, Donald Duck sold in €460 million deal

Sanomatalo, The Sanoma House, in Helsinki
Sanomatalo, The Sanoma House, in HelsinkiAulo AasmaaWikimedia CommonsCC-BY

Finnish publishing giant Sanoma sold its unit Sanoma Media Netherlands to Belgian company DPG Media for an amount of 460 million euros, Sanoma announced on Tuesday. No jobs will be lost in the deal - all 977 employees, equivalent to 894 full-time positions, will mover from Sanoma to DPG.

Sanoma Media Netherlands consists of Dutch and Belgian magazines including Donald Duck and Libelle, and online news brand NU.nl. After the sale, these will fall under DPG, which already owns AD, Parool, Trouw, De Volkskrant, and a large number of regional papers. DPG also owns part of Amsterdam broadcaster AT5 and radio station Q-Music. 

The sale still has to be approved by the Dutch authority on consumers and markets ACM, and the involved companies' central works councils still have to give their advice. If all goes well, the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of September 2020.

Sanoma is not leaving the Netherlands entirely, but will henceforth focus on its educational branch Sanoma Learning. The money earned in the sale will be mainly used for mergers and acquisitions to this extent. “Divestment of Sanoma Media Netherlands is an important step in Sanoma’s strategic transformation from a predominantly media company into a combination of a growing European-based learning company and the leading cross-media company in Finland,” said President and CEO Susan Duinhoven in a statement.

“I am very proud of the work that our Dutch media team has done during the past years. We have reshaped the business and improved its efficiency and profitability, and in addition created growth in the online news and data business.” Duinhoven said. 

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