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ProSieben sells off Dutch, Belgian nets for $1.78bn

The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has reached a 1.23 billion euro (US$1.78bn) deal to sell its TV operations in the Netherlands and Belgium to a consortium of media companies including Talpa.
April 20, 2011

The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has reached a €1.23 billion (US$1.78bn) deal to sell its TV operations in the Netherlands and Belgium to a consortium of media companies including Talpa.

In the Netherlands, ProSieben’s SBS networks – Net 5, SBS6 and Veronica – and its print operations will be acquired by Talpa Holding and Sanoma Corporation, which will control 33% and 67% respectively.

In Belgium, meanwhile, the buyers for the local SBS channels are Sanoma Corporation, Corelio and Waterman & Waterman.

The total value for both transactions is €1.23 billion, which ProSieben says represents a 10.6 times multiple, based on full-year 2010 adjusted pre-tax earnings of €115 million for the operations.

ProSiebenSat.1 Media CEO Thomas Ebeling said: “The transaction value for the assets in Belgium and the Netherlands represents a significant strategic premium on our Group trading multiple. This valuation upside benefits both the company and our stakeholders.

“The transactions will significantly reduce net financial debt and leverage of our company. Management is committed to reducing leverage even further.”

The production businesses of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group in the Netherlands and Belgium are not included in the deal, and the Dutch transaction is subject to merger clearance. In addition, ProSieben announced that it would not be selling off its Scandinavian SBS operations, as previously suggested.

Ebeling explained: “The Nordic markets continue to be attractive assets for our Group. Due to their dynamic growth in advertising and in carriage fees, they are a valuable cornerstone of our revenue diversification strategy.”

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