Media tycoon John de Mol’s Talpa misses financial reporting deadline
John de Mol’s media company Talpa Network has failed to file financial figures with the Chamber of Commerce, despite being legally obliged to do so. RTL Nieuws tried to look into Talpa’s financials after regulator ACM blocked plans for Talpa Network and RTL Nederland to merge and couldn’t find a single financial statement, the broadcaster wrote.
In the Netherlands, large companies are obliged to file their financial results and capital position in the form of annual accounts with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) every year. “But no annual accounts of Talpa Network can be found in the KvK register. Turnover and profit data are also missing on websites like Mediamonitor,” RTL Nieuws wrote.
Talpa is a sizeable company. After NPO and RTL, Talpa is the third largest party in the Dutch television market. It hosts four national television channels, owns four radio stations, and has several e-commerce companies.
Figures from a 2020 reorganization showed that 1,200 people worked at the company after that reorganization. And the presentation of the merger plan with RTL showed that Talpa achieved a turnover of 433 million euros in 2020. In 2021, Talpa sold news agency ANP, whose last known turnover was just under 25 million euros, and employs 250 people. That leaves Talpa with a turnover of around 400 million euros and just under 1,000 employees - definitely big enough to file financial statements with the KvK.
The KvK told RTL that the current parent company is responsible for filing the annual accounts. That is currently Talpa Topco Holding 2, which hasn’t submitted any accounts for 2021 either. According to the KvK, this can be explained by the fact that Talpa Topco Holding 2 was only founded in July 2021. Its first financial year ends at the end of December 2022, and they then have one year to file the account.
But that doesn’t explain the absence of Talpa’s accounts for previous years, which were the obligation of another parent company with an almost identical name - Talpa Topco Holding II. “No annual accounts have been filed for the previous holding company either,” the KvK responded to RTL’s questions about it. “It should have been.”
The KvK referred RTL to the Economic Enforcement Bureau (BEH), part of the Tax Authority, to find out if Talpa has agreements not to file its annual figures. A spokesperson for the BEH said it couldn’t comment on individual cases. The spokesperson said that BEH investigates reports from the KvK about companies that do not submit annual accounts, and Talpa matches three of the six criteria for cases that “get priority.”