RTL Group has reached a deal to sell RTL Nederland, the leading Dutch commercial TV group and owner of the local streaming service Videoland, to DPG Media, a multimedia company active in Benelux and Denmark.
The sale of RTL Nederland is subject to regulatory approvals and a consultation with labor unions. The all-cash pact, which values RTL Nederland for $1.2 billion, is expected to close around mid-2024. The capital gain from the transaction will be largely tax exempt and will amount to approximately $877 million.
Under the deal, RTL Group and DPG Media will work together on advertising and streaming technology, international advertising sales and joint content development.
For three years after closing, RTL Group’s broadcasters in Germany, France and Hungary will receive first-look rights for all new programs developed by RTL Nederland. DPG Media, which also spans leading TV brands VTM and RTL Belgium, will also continue to use the “RTL” brand in the Netherlands at least until December 2034.
“Under the leadership of CEO Sven Sauvé, RTL Nederland has built a strong culture and achieved extraordinary successes – demonstrated by market-leading audience shares in linear TV, strong growth in streaming and high profitability,” said Thomas Rabe, RTL Group’s CEO.
The company previously tried to consolidate its Dutch business with the acquisition of John de Mol’s Talpa Network but the agreement failed to get approved by the anti-trust board. Rabe said that since the company’s “in-country consolidation strategy was blocked by the competition authorities in January 2023, the sale to DPG Media is the best strategic option for RTL Nederland and all its stakeholders.”
Rabe added the company has “consistently said that market consolidation in the European TV industry is necessary to compete with the global tech giants” for several years.
Elmar Heggen, deputy CEO and COO of RTL Group, said DPG Media will be “a very good new home for RTL Nederland, and we are looking forward to expanding our cooperation into a strategic partnership.”
Christian Van Thillo, exec chairman of DPG Media Group, said the deal will allow the banner “to build a group that has the necessary scale to invest in the digital transformation of television.”
RTL Group will continue to benefit from all cash flows and profits brought by RTL Nederland until the closing of the deal.