John de Mol's Talpa Buys Dutch TV Networks Group SBS

Gregor Servais/Phenster
John de Mol

Talpa now has full control of the company, which operates four channels in the Netherlands.

John de Mol's Talpa Holding has acquired the 67 percent of Dutch television group SBS Broadcasting it does not already hold, giving Talpa full control of SBS, which operates four networks in the Netherlands.

Talpa bought the SBS stake from Finland's Sanoma group. As part of the deal, Talpa sold its stake in the TV guide business Veronica Uitgeverij to Sanoma. Financial details weren't disclosed.

Talpa and Sanoma together acquired the Dutch assets of SBS for $1.65 billion in 2011 when the channel group was spun off by previous owner, German group ProSiebenSat.1. Sanoma took a 67 percent stake in SBS, Talpa bought the remaining 33 percent.

"I strongly believe in a strong Dutch multimedia company that is flexible enough to respond to the changing media landscape, which is primarily a consequence of rapid technological developments," said de Mol. "SBS is a unique media asset which will be a key link in the new multimedia company." 

Talpa Holding is an umbrella company that manages de Mol's media assets. It also controls Talpa Radio, which owns and operates four Dutch radio stations.

Talpa Holding is separate from Talpa Media, the production group behind hit reality format The Voice. British broadcaster ITV acquired Talpa Media in 2015 in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.

The SBS deal still has to be approved by regulatory authorities but Talpa said Monday it expects to close soon. For de Mol, the deal brings him one major step closer to creating a Dutch multimedia company that, in his words, “is flexible enough to respond to the changing media landscape” and has the scale to be of interest both to advertisers and customers.

With a net worth estimated at more than $2 billion, de Mol is one of the Netherlands' richest moguls. The creator of Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and The Voice, he is often credited for having invented reality TV.