Talpa goes ahead with hostile bid for Telegraaf group

Talpa Holding, the investment vehicle of television producer John de Mol, has put in an 11th-hour offer for Telegraaf Media Group one day before offers close for the Amsterdam-based concern, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

Talpa is bidding €6.50 a share for TMG, while the combine of Belgian newspaper holding group Mediahuis and the Van Puijenbroek family is offering €6 per share. But Mediahuis and the Van Puijbroek family already control 60% of TMG shares. TMG is thus valued at about €300m.

The chances that the Talpa bid will succeed is virtually non-existent. Neither Mediahuis, with a 20% stake nor the Van  Puijenbroek family which has held a 40% interest in TMG for decades, seem likely to support Talpa.

This was confirmed on Tuesday evening when the combine said its bid was ‘strategic’.  A spokesman said the combine had ‘made an offer for all shares so that the acquisition could proceed’.

De Mol has just under 30% of the shares and he said he will regard the bid as successful if he receives more than 50% of the shares. Mediahuis and the Van Puijenbroek family orginally said they would consider it a done deal if they received 70% of the shares, but will now accept a lower percentage.

Shareholders wanting to sell to Talpa have until 9 August to do so. Those wanting to sell to the combine must surrender their shares by Thursday.

DeMol/Talpa have said they want to merge their radio and television interests with TMG to create an ‘independent Dutch multimedia company’.

But if the Belgian acquisition goes ahead, all the main Dutch daily papers and many regional ones will be in the hands of two Belgian media groups. The Telegraaf is the biggest circulation Dutch daily.

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