RTL Group and Big Brother and The Voice creator John de Mol’s Talpa Network announced today that that they have reached an agreements to merge their broadcasting and affiliated media businesses in the Netherlands. The transaction, which has been approved by the Board of Directors of RTL Group and Talpa Holding, is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approval.
Talpa Network will contribute its TV, radio, print, digital, e-commerce and other assets, most notably its TV channels that originated as a Dutch arm of SBS Broadcasting, in exchange to a 30% stake in the enlarged RTL Nederland. RTL Group will hold the remaining 70% in the combined group.
Not part of the deal are Talpa Network’s content units, Talpa Concepts and Talpa Entertainment Producties. They will enter into a content agreement with RTL Netherlands for newly developed formats for linear TV channels and for the streaming service Videoland.
De Mol has been using the Talpa content units as incubators for new reality concepts that he then has piloted on Talpa TV channels before selling as formats around the world.
“I started Talpa Network to build a strong Dutch media company able to compete with the growing global platforms in order to preserve local content,” de Mol said. “This next step will allow us to do just that – and I am pleased that the deal creates a strong Dutch company that not only guarantees Dutch quality content, but is also able to take on the American and Chinese tech players. On top of that, it allows me to fully focus once again on what I like best: the creation and development of new innovative content.”
Sven Sauvé will continue in his current role as CEO of RTL Nederland, leading the combined group after closing the transaction. Pim Schmitz, CEO of Talpa Network, will represent Talpa Network by joining the new Supervisory Board of RTL Nederland which will be chaired by Elmar Heggen, COO and Deputy CEO of RTL Group.
The combined group would have 2020 revenue of €909 million1 and operating profit of €84 million1. The annual content spend of the combined group amounts to more than €400 million. The potential synergies of the merger are estimated between €100 million and €120 million per year, to be fully realised in 2025, the companies said.
“Following the proposed merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 in France, the combination of RTL Nederland and Talpa Network is the second major step to scale up our broadcasting businesses across our European footprint,” Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said. “The new cross-media group will have the size, resources and creativity to compete with global tech platforms in the Netherlands when it comes to investing in premium content, offering the most advanced addressable advertising opportunities, and expanding Videoland, the leading national streaming service for Dutch viewers.”
J.P. Morgan is acting as exclusive financial advisor to RTL Group and PJT Partners as exclusive financial advisor to Talpa Network.