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EC gives green light to Telenet TV group acquisition

TelenetThe European Commission has granted approval for Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet to acquires a 50% stake in local programmer De Vijver Media. 

Telenet announced its deal to take the stake last June via an acquisition of Sanoma’s share for €26 million and an additional cash investment in the company of €32 million. After the transaction, through their company W&W, Wouter Vandenhaute, CEO of De Vijver Media, and his business partner Erik Watté will keep 25% of the shares of De Vijver Media. Corelio will keep the remaining 25% of the shares in De Vijver Media.

Telenet, W&W and Corelio have given undertakings to guarantee that the channels of the company will remain available to other television providers to allay competition concerns and secure the green light. Telenet has also undertaken not consolidate the activities of De Vijver Media.

“We worked constructively with the European Commission during the investigation and had the greatest confidence that the deal would be approved. The main thing is that Flemish viewers will now be able to reap the benefits of this important collaboration in the Flemish media landscape. In future, they will also be able to continue enjoying the many Flemish quality programmes that Vier and Vijf put out. With this collaboration, just as with other initiatives of ours like Stap and Play, we aim to continue enriching our customers’ viewing experience and supporting local audiovisual content,” said John Porter, CEO of Telenet.

Wouter Vandenhaute, CEO De Vijver Media said, “Over the past three years, De Vijver Media has spurred a dynamic change in the Flemish television landscape. With the arrival of Telenet, we are able to continue developing the creative story of VIER, VIJF and Woestijnvis on a stable footing. Over the coming years, Telenet will also help us to respond correctly to rapidly changing viewing habits.”