Nice work

PCM, the publisher of daily newspapers de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad and Trouw, has sacked board member Philip Alberdingk Thijm. PCM, recently re-acquired by its original owners from UK private equity firm Apax, said said it had lost all confidence in Alberdingk Thijm’s performance.

It seems few tears will be shed at Alberdingk Thijm’s departure. The man himself will be crying all the way to the bank, leaving as he is with options bonuses and a golden parachute estimated at some €2m, after less than a year with the company.
A recent article in left-wing magazine de Groen Amsterdammer says that Alberdingk Thijm borrowed the €108,000 he invested in the PCM management option scheme from PCM itself.
Oddly enough, this was in December 2006, the same month that PCM published figures indicating that any investment in the options would pay out tenfold if PCM was sold.
Even odder perhaps, is that December also saw persistent rumours that Apax was planning to sell off PCM, a move that was indeed announced in January 2007.
PCM has of course said Alberdingk Thijm’s loan, the announcement of the potential pay-out and Apax’s announcement of the sale being so close together are pure coincidence.

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