Duch media tycoon John de Mol said last night on the television programme Pauw & Witteman that he is interested in purchasing the TV channels of SBS in the Netherlands and Belgium. The stations are currently owned by German media group ProSiebenSat.1.
Mr De Mol said he has not yet made a bid, but one will definitely be coming. The US investment bank JP Morgan is handling the sale of the channels, and a letter confirming Mr De Mol’s interest was due to be delivered to them today. Mr De Mol says that ideally he would like to purchase the stations with one or more partners, and he named de Telegraaf, the mass circulation newspaper, as one option - but stressed that it was not mentioned in the letter sent to JP Morgan. He said each party was expressing its interest separately, but that there could be a merger of the interested parties.
A spokesman for the Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG) would not confirm whether the company has also sent a letter to JP Morgan, or if it has spoken with Mr De Mol. But the spokesman referred to the New Year speech of its CEO, Ad Swartjes, in which he reiterated that the TMG was interested in taking over SBS Netherlands and Belgium from ProSiebenSat.1. TMG currently has a 6 percent share in the German company.
SBS operates three television stations in the Netherlands - SBS6, Net 5 and Veronica - and two in Belgium - VT4 and Vijf TV. Six years ago, John de Mol set up his own TV station - Talpa TV, later known as Tien - but it was not commercially successful and after just two years he sold it to RTL Nederland, which rebranded it as RTL8.
(Source: ANP/RNW News)