Leeuwarden/Antwerp, 2 December 2020 – On Monday Mediahuis received the approval of the Dutch competition authority Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) for the acquisition of NDC mediagroep. In the meantime, the Works Council of NDC mediagroep has also given a positive recommendation for the acquisition. This means that all the conditions of the takeover process have been met. For NDC mediagroep this acquisition marks the start of a new phase as a 100% part of the Mediahuis Group. Koos Boot will head the NDC mediagroep as the new CEO, together with general editor-in-chief Evert van Dijk.
The acquisition of NDC mediagroep by Mediahuis strengthens both parties. The geographical coverage of NDC fits in well with the other activities of Mediahuis in the Dutch market, and the NDC brands enrich the Mediahuis portfolio. At the same time, the acquisition enables NDC mediagroep to gain digital and commercial impact. NDC has already taken important steps in the digital transformation of its organisation and brands in recent years. As a group, Mediahuis adds the necessary scale and expertise that are necessary to accelerate the digital transformation of NDC in the next phase, and to successfully consolidate its independent regional journalism and leading position in the Northern Netherlands.
Following the completion of the acquisition, Pier Baarsma, General Manager of NDC mediagroep since 2018, will resign. Koos Boot, CFO of Mediahuis Netherlands from mid-2017, will succeed Pier Baarsma as CEO of NDC mediagroep. Koos Boot, who grew up in Drenthe and studied in Groningen, knows the media sector inside out, and also has extensive experience within the Mediahuis Group. Partly under his leadership, Mediahuis Netherlands – formerly known as the Telegraaf Media Group – transformed into a profitable organisation that is now showing growth.
Together with general editor-in-chief Evert van Dijk, Koos Boot will form the executive committee of NDC mediagroep. Evert van Dijk has been part of NDC since 1991, and has extensive managerial experience within the group’s editorial boards, as well as the necessary business knowledge. The appointment of Evert van Dijk as a statutory director of NDC ensures continuity and underlines the importance and position of independent journalism within NDC.
Gert Ysebaert, CEO of the Mediahuis Group: “We are pleased that the acquisition of NDC mediagroep has been successfully completed and that we can welcome the new colleagues to our group. I would therefore like to thank the former shareholders FB Oranjewoud and JM Fonds for their confidence in this transaction. I am also grateful to Pier Baarsma for the work he has carried out at the helm of NDC in recent years. A new phase is now starting, in which the aim of Mediahuis is to make NDC successful and financially healthy within the short term. It goes without saying that the digital acceleration and the synergy benefits that Mediahuis can offer as a group are of great importance. I am convinced that, working together with Evert van Dijk, Koos Boot is the right man to anchor NDC’s regional journalism and its leading position in Northern Netherlands society in a sustainable way.”
Pier Baarsma, departing managing director of NDC mediagroep: “I have felt it to be a personal and honourable mission to be allowed to steer this wonderful media company – which is so deeply rooted in our northern society – in a different direction. We will come into the hands of Mediahuis, which, in other acquisitions, has shown that it deals with titles, identity and journalistic independence, with integrity and respect. A change of ownership requires a new face. And that’s why I’m stepping down. Mediahuis will want to set its own accent, but with a listening ear for our knowledge of the northern society. And that reassures me. Because the soul of the company is determined by its employees. You find that soul in the products that we make every day. This will not change with Mediahuis.”
Evert van Dijk, director and general editor-in-chief: “I am happy that we can now mainly look ahead. With a good feeling. Our titles, with their strong regional identity and independent journalism, will remain guaranteed at Mediahuis. We believe that the group’s scale and knowledge, particularly in the field of digital transformation, will allow us to take major steps together in the coming years.”
Koos Boot, future CEO of NDC mediagroep: “I am pleased that I can take over the torch and steer the great company that is NDC mediagroep into the future. The deep-rooted regional identity and independent journalism of the NDC brands are paramount. These strong brands, each with their own signature, have everything they need to strengthen their leading market position through digital acceleration. Together with the management and employees of NDC, we will consider where NDC and Mediahuis can learn from each other, where we can work together and how we can strengthen each other.”