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Commercial television network RTL Nederland and Talpa Networks, the TV group controlled by TV mogul and The Voice creator John de Mol, on Tuesday announced plans to merge their media assets to create a Dutch TV giant with the resources to compete with Netflix and other global streamers in the Netherlands.
The move would see Talpa fold its Dutch media assets into RTL Nederland in exchange for a 30 percent stake in the newly merged group. RTL parent RTL Group would hold the remaining 70 percent. Sven Sauvé, CEO of RTL Nederland, will lead the combined group. Talpa Network CEO Pim Schmitz will join RTL Nederland’s supervisory board, which will be chaired by Elmar Heggen, COO and Deputy CEO of RTL Group.
Based on 2020 revenues of the two companies, the combined Dutch group would have a turnover of $1.08 billion (€909 million) and operating profits (EBITA) of $100 million (€84 million. The annual content spend of the combined group would amount to more than $476 million (€400 million). The companies claim the merger would result in annual synergies and benefits amounting to between $119 million -$143 million (€100 million -€120 million) annually, to be fully realized in 2025.
Talpa Network’s content units, Talpa Concepts and Talpa Entertainment Producties, will not be part of the merger but will enter a content agreement with RTL Nederland to develop formats for the group’s linear TV channels and for RTL’s Dutch streaming service Videoland.
Just last month, RTL made a similar move in France, proposing a $4 billion merger between its French commercial network M6 and leading French commercial broadcaster TF1. As with the Dutch deal, the move is an attempt to create “local language champions” with sufficient scale to take on Netflix in their home markets.
“Following the proposed merger of Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6 in France, the combination of RTL Nederland and Talpa Network is the second major step to scale up our broadcasting businesses across our European footprint,” said RTL Group CEO Thomas Rabe. “The new crossmedia group will have the size, resources, and creativity to compete with global tech platforms in the Netherlands when it comes to investing in premium content, offering the most advanced addressable advertising opportunities, and expanding Videoland, the leading national streaming service for Dutch viewers.”
John de Mol said the merger would create “a strong Dutch company that not only guarantees Dutch quality content but is also able to take on the American and Chinese tech players. On top of that, it allows me to fully focus once again on what I like best: the creation and development of new innovative content.”
De Mol, a four-time Emmy winner for The Voice, is also the creator of the reality TV franchise Big Brother.
Both the French and Dutch TV mergers still have to receive anti-trust approval from the respective national governing bodies.
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