De Persgroep has increased its interest in the audiovisual company MEDIALAAN (TV stations VTM, Q2, Vitaya, CAZ, radio stations Qmusic and Joe, Mobile Vikings, etc.) from 50% to 100% by purchasing the full participation of co-shareholder Roularta Media Group.
In turn, Roularta has purchased the half of Mediafin’s shares owned by De Persgroep. Mediafin is the publisher of business media De Tijd and L'Echo. The other half is owned by Groupe Rossel.
The two transactions will lead to Roularta receiving a cash balance of approximately 217.5 million euro at closing.
Christian Van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep: "In Belgium, De Persgroep mainly operates in media aimed at the general public. The increase of the stake in MEDIALAAN is of strategic value for our company. The convergence of all media on the internet is becoming more important every day. We want to reinforce our position in the digital world substantially so that we can compete locally with the technology giants which dominate this world. The strong audiovisual market position and expertise of MEDIALAAN will certainly help us do that. On the other hand, we decided to let go of Mediafin. Together with Groupe Rossel, we developed Mediafin into a multimedia publishing company with wonderful titles and a highly successful digital strategy. This transaction means that Mediafin will continue to be controlled by strong local shareholders who can expand the company still further.”
Xavier Bouckaert, CEO of Roularta Media Group: "The impact of the digital revolution on the media sector is becoming ever greater. That is confronting all media companies with major challenges, but it also offers wonderful opportunities for media companies that have a clear focus. Roularta Media Group has always held a strong market position in national, high-quality magazines that aim at a highly educated audience. The acquisition of this stake in Mediafin fits perfectly with that positioning. We have made the decision to sell our stake in MEDIALAAN to our partner De Persgroep, which will give us considerable resources to further shape our digital strategy. We are convinced that MEDIALAAN is in good hands with De Persgroep and can look back with pride on a successful partnership that lasted 20 years."
Both transactions will be reported as soon as possible to the Belgian Competition Authority.