Telegraaf Media Groep (“TMG”) announces that after a careful and very vigorous process, the shares in Keesing Media Group (“Keesing”) will be sold to a partnership which will be set up with Ergon Capital Partners III (“Ergon”). The valuation of 100% of the shares of Keesing implied in the transaction is EUR 150 million (enterprise value, debt and cash free). TMG will take a 30% stake in the new partnership. The transaction is subject to approval from the shareholders of TMG and the advice of the works councils of TMG and is expected to be completed within the next two months.
Over the last couple of years, Keesing has experienced strong growth within TMG both in terms of sales and profitability. The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of TMG are of the opinion that a sale will better enable Keesing to increase its market position and to realize a faster pace of international growth. In Ergon, TMG has found the right partner to realize these objectives.
Ergon is an independent investment firm, active in the Benelux, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, with a worldwide network that can be leveraged for the further expansion of Keesing, the European market leader in the field of puzzle magazines. Ergon’s investment philosophy is focused on long term value creation in close cooperation with the management teams of the companies it invests in. Ergon sees unique opportunities to further stimulate the development of Keesing and to realize structural growth. Investments in a buy and build strategy, digitalization of products and expansion of distribution channels are part of the plans to increase the company’s market position and to accelerate its international expansion.
In the intended partnership, TMG will take a stake of 30% in the share capital of Keesing. TMG has made arrangements regarding its position as minority shareholder and will continue to be closely involved with the company through representation with one seat at the Supervisory Board of Keesing. TMG is confident about the strategy for the future and foresees continued collaboration possibilities between its own brands and the brands of Keesing in the new setup. The net cash flow from this transaction will be used to fully redeem the banking credit facilities. In addition, this offers flexibility with regard to financing of operations and the future plans for the core activities and brands of TMG.
The decision to sell Keesing will be submitted for approval to the shareholders of TMG. An extraordinary meeting of shareholders will be convened for this, for which a convocation term of 42 calendar days is applicable. In the weeks prior to the shareholders’ meeting, an information memorandum with additional information will be published. The convocation and the information memorandum will be published on www.tmg.nl.
TMG is one of the largest media companies in the Netherlands, with strong brands such as De Telegraaf, DFT, Telesport, Metro, Autovisie, Privé and VROUW; online videoplatform Telegraaf VNDG; regional dailies such as Noordhollands Dagblad and De Gooi- en Eemlander; digital brands such as GeenStijl, Dumpert and Gaspedaal; Classic FM and – through a strategic collaboration with Talpa – national radio stations Sky Radio, Radio Veronica, Radio 538 and Radio 10. TMG also has other brands and titles that focus on providing entertainment or e-commerce (e.g., GroupDeal). Through Keesing Media Group, TMG is market leader in Europe in the field of puzzle magazines. TMG’s mission is to provide consumers with high quality, personalised and relevant news, sports and entertainment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via all available forms of distribution. For more information about TMG, please go to www.tmg.nl.
Ergon Capital Partners is a mid-market private equity investment firm, backed by Sienna Capital, a subsidiary of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”), and other institutional investors. In its third fund Ergon manages EUR 500 million of assets. Ergon is a disciplined and discrete investor that provides “patient and friendly” capital to entrepreneurs and managers in need of capital and industrial solutions to accelerate the growth of their companies. Since its establishment in 2005, Ergon has invested in 16 companies (4 in the Benelux, 7 in Italy, 2 in France, 1 in Spain and 2 in Germany) and 21 add-on acquisitions for a total value of over EUR 3 billion. Ergon is advised by Ergon Capital Advisors, which has offices in Brussels, Paris, Munich, Milan and Madrid. For more information, please see www.ergoncapital.com.