Mediahuis, which owns Independent News & Media (INM), is in talks to buy Dutch media group NDC Mediagroep, the two companies have confirmed.
A deal would continue a slew of acquisitions by Belgium-based Mediahuis, which expanded into Ireland by buying INM last year and which this year agreed a deal to buy Luxembourg's largest media group Saint-Paul Luxembourg which publishes the 'Luxembourg Times', 'Télécran', and the country's oldest newspaper, 'Luxemburger Wort'.
NDC media group is the largest independent media company in the north of the Netherlands. It publishes titles including 'Dagblad van het Noorden', 'Leeuwarder Courant', 'Friesch Dagblad' and dozens of regional news and weekly newspapers. The group has 550 employees and had a turnover last year of €112m.
Mediahuis already has a significant presence in the Netherlands where it publishes titles including 'NRC', 'De Telegraaf', 'De Limburger', 'Noordhollands Dagblad', 'Haarlems Dagblad', 'Leidsch Dagblad' and 'De Gooi-en Eemlander'.
In a statement Mediahuis confirmed the talks but said that they are at an early stage.
"So far, the discussions have been constructive. But it is still too early to comment on the outcome of the negotiations. NDC Mediagroep and Mediahuis will not comment further for the time being."
Mediahuis has expanded rapidly since 2013, when it was formed from a merger of Belgian newspaper rivals.
It has since absorbed a series of regional and national titles across Europe, most notably Dutch newspapers 'De Telegraaf' and 'NRC Handelsblad', before it entered the Irish market with its purchase of INM, which publishes the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent, the 'Sunday World' and a number of regional titles as well as the 'Belfast Telegraph' in Northern Ireland.