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Sanoma sells SBS to Talpa

Acquisition cost Talpa €237 million and includes all four SBS channels

Sanoma has sold its 67 per cent stake in Dutch TV business to Jon de Mol’s Talpa Broadcasting.

The deal has cost €237 million and includes Sanoma gaining 100 per cent ownership of TV guide business Veronica Uitgeverij.

SBS is the third largest free-to-air TV broadcaster in the Dutch market with four TV channels: SBS 6, NET5, SBS9 and Veronica.

Sanoma says the “de-risking” of its overall portfolio due to the sales of SBS, “combined with the continued good performance of the Finnish media business enables Sanoma to improve its outlook for 2017. Sanoma expects that in 2017 the Group’s consolidated net sales adjusted for structural changes, including the divestment of SBS, will be stable and the operational EBIT margin will be above ten per cent.”

Susan Duinhoven, CEO and president, Sanoma, said: “The outcome of our strategic review of Sanoma’s business portfolio has been to focus on our strongholds, i.e. the businesses where we have, or can reach, a leading market position.

“The SBS divestment allows us to accelerate the deleveraging of our balance sheet and provides much more financial and strategic flexibility to grow our stronghold businesses. We are very pleased for our long term partner Talpa to acquire our stake in this unique asset.”

Jon de Mol, Talpa owner, added: “I understand the strategic choice of Sanoma, our co-shareholder with whom we cooperated particularly well in recent years.”

“At the same time this offers us the opportunity to become 100 per cent owner of SBS, a unique media company. I strongly believe in a strong Dutch multimedia company that is flexible to adapt to the changing media landscape. The company I want to build will offer 24/7 content through various platforms. This implies that SBS will be part of something larger than just television.”