Independent News & Media (INM) owner Mediahuis has agreed a deal to takeover Dutch media group NDC Mediagroep, the biggest regional news publisher in the northern Netherland.
It continues a slew of acquisitions by Belgium headquartered Mediahuis, which expanded into Ireland by buying INM last year and 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 600 employs and had a turnover last year of €112m.
Mediahuis already has a significant business in the Netherlands where it publishes titles including national titles NRC and De Telegraaf and regional brands mainly in the south of the country including De Limburger and Haarlems Dagblad.
In a statement Mediahuis confirmed it has reached an agreement in principal with NDC shareholders FB Oranjewoud and JM Fonds.
They said the acquisition enables NDC mediagroep to gain digital and commercial impact.
The transaction is subject to approval by the Dutch competition authority ACM.
“Mediahuis adds the necessary economies of scale and expertise to accelerate the digital transformation of NDC in the next phase, and to successfully consolidate its independent regional journalism and leading position in the Northern Netherlands,” Mediahuis said in a statement.
Mediahuis Group CEO Gert Ysebaert said digitalisation of the media is driving the need for consolidation: “The continuing digitisation makes it necessary for media companies to join forces, make optimal use of economies of scale and learn from each other's expertise.
"The strong regional brands of NDC, each with their individual signature, have everything they need to strengthen their leading market position and further anchor their independent journalism in the Northern Dutch society."