Belgian publisher De Persgroep buys Mecom for just under £200m

persgroep-logo-belgieBelgian publisher De Persgroep has agreed to buy Mecom for just under £200 million. Each Mecom Shareholder will be entitled to receive 155 pence in cash for each Mecom Share they hold, which values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Mecom, on a fully diluted basis, at approximately £196 million.

mecomMecom, a company incorporated under the laws of England, is a European media group, with leading positions in the news and information publishing business in the Netherlands and Denmark. Mecom’s Dutch division comprises the Koninklijke Wegener (Wegener) and Media Groep Limburg (Limburg) businesses. Wegener is the largest publisher of regional daily newspapers and free door-to-door newspapers in the Netherlands. Limburg is the leading regional newspaper business in the Dutch province of Limburg. The Dutch division has a total daily readership of approximately 2.5 million and publishes content in print and in online, mobile and e-paper form. The Danish division publishes two daily national titles and one weekly national title as well as seven daily regional titles and 17 free weekly titles. In total, the Danish division has a daily readership of approximately 500,000. Mecom also operates national and local radio stations, with total listeners of approximately 1 million.

De Persgroep, a company incorporated under the laws of Belgium, is a major operator in the Belgian and Dutch media markets. De Persgroep’s activities consist of news media, magazines, television, radio and online services.

The Transaction will be funded by a combination of existing cash resources and a new debt facility provided by BNP Paribas Fortis S.A./N.V.

Commenting on the Transaction, Christian Van Thillo, Chief Executive Officer of De Persgroep, said: “This announcement is consistent with our successful strategy in our publishing activities and with our belief that consolidation in our industry is necessary in order to transform our publications into multimedia brands in a profitable way. Mecom is a leading publishing group with strong and respected news brands in the Netherlands and Denmark.

It further underscores our ongoing commitment to develop innovative multi-media news brands that offer readers a richer experience through printed and digital newspapers, news sites and apps. In addition to operational breadth and depth, the combined business will be better positioned for transformation towards a media group that is leading in print and online.”

Norway, Oslo & UK, London & Belgium, Kobbegem

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