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Telenet buys 50% of De Vijver Media

De Vijver Media's new shareholder structure.

De Vijver Media’s new shareholder structure.

Telenet has bought a 50% stake in Belgium’s De Vijver Media, after buying Finnish media group Sanoma’s shares for €26 million and making an additional €32 million cash investment in the firm.

De Vijver Media CEO Wouter Vandenhaute and his business partner Erik Watté keep 25 % of De Vijver Media through their company W&W, while Belgian media group Corelio also retains 25 % of the company’s shares.

De Vijver Media owns media company SBS Belgium, the channels VIER and VIJF and production house Woestijnvis.

With the deal, Telenet said that its long-term backing will give SBS and Woestijnvis “the necessary breathing space to develop their strategy further,” as well as new financial and technological possibilities for the Flemish audiovisual sector to continue predicting local programmes.

“Our objective is to offer Flemish viewers the best and most modern multimedia entertainment. A participation in De Vijver Media should make this possible. Of course, this is not an obvious step for a cable company, but I am convinced that the Flemish media landscape can only get stronger with this participation and that Flemish viewers will benefit,” said Telenet CEO John Porter.

Wouter Vandenhaute, CEO of De Vijver Media added: “Telenet’s investment allows us to look at the future with confidence. Woestijnvis wants to remain a strong and innovative production house and VIER and VIJF want to continue growing. A television landscape with, in addition to a public broadcasting corporation, two commercial players, offers the best guarantee in the long term to provide quality to Flemish viewers, who have been spoiled these last two years. Telenet will not only give us the necessary support, their technological know-how can also seriously help us to carve out a strong position in a sector which will evolve more and more over the coming years.”