De Mol takes stake in Dutch RTL

Radio 538 to be folded into company

Pan-European broadcaster RTL Group and John de Mol have inked an asset-swap deal that leaves the Dutch media tycoon a shareholder in RTL Nederland. The agreement comes some six weeks after de Mol regained control of Endemol.

As part of the agreement between RTL and de Mol’s Talpa Media, leading Dutch radio station Radio 538 will be integrated into the RTL Nederland, the Netherlands’ biggest TV group, which will also acquire Talpa TV assets such as sports rights and hit Dutch shows and series. In return, Talpa will receive a 26.3% stake in RTL Nederland.

In addition, RTL Nederland will hold a first look option in the Netherlands for all formats developed by de Mol’s creative unit.

RTL Nederland will share in the worldwide profits of the formats that have been shown on one of RTL’s Dutch TV stations.

Deal does not include de Mol’s TV channel Tien, at least for the time being. The web will continue broadcasting in its current form, although the current transaction is expected to have an impact on Tien’s future operation.

The agreement was signed by RTL Group topper Gerhard Zeiler, RTL Nederland CEO Fons van Westerloo and de Mol.

The deal is subject to approval by the Netherlands’ antitrust watchdog as well as by RTL Group’s board of directors.

Last month de Mol sold his 75% stake in Swedish production arm Talpa Scandinavia to founder and CEO Anna Carrfors Brakenhielm following his acquisition of Endemol from Spanish telco Telefonica for some $4.5 billion. The purchase, backed by a consortium that included Italy’s Mediaset and Goldman Sachs, put de Mol back in control of the company he co-founded in 1994 and which went on to develop such hit formats as “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal.”

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