Friday 15 December 2017

Big Brother boss targets newspaper

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Kim Robert McLaughlin

The creator of hit TV shows 'Big Brother' and 'The Voice' has offered to buy Telegraaf Media Groep for €274m, countering a lower bid for control of the Dutch newspaper publisher.

Billionaire John de Mol's Talpa Holding made an unsolicited cash offer of €5.90 a share for TMG, publisher of 'De Telegraaf' daily and a number of regional newspapers in the Netherlands, according to a statement Monday.

The offer is 12pc higher than a proposal that Belgian group Mediahuis NV and Dutch investment fund VP Exploitatie announced on December 14. De Mol built an 18.4pc stake in TMG this month, according to a filing with regulator AFM on January 17, and has since raised his holding to just above 20pc.

TMG will compare Talpa's proposal to the rival Belgian bid and a "standalone strategy and other strategic alternatives", the company said in a statement on Monday.

TMG would add to De Mol's collection of Dutch media investments, which now include TV and radio stations. The company's assets include Amsterdam-based 'De Telegraaf', which ditched 121 years of broadsheet format in 2014 to become a tabloid.

TMG and De Mol's Talpa have partnered to deliver more online video in recent months, combining Talpa's television expertise with TMG's content in an app and on the web.

At €5.25 a share, the bid from Mediahuis and VP Exploitatie doesn't demonstrate a strong belief in TMG's capabilities, Talpa said in a statement. Talpa considers TMG of strategic importance and isn't considering selling its shares, De Mol's company said. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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