AMSTERDAM, March 6 Dutch tycoon John de Mol
again raised his offer for the Netherlands' Telegraaf Media
Group late on Sunday, as a bidding war with a
consortium led by Belgium's Mediahuis over the asset entered a
De Mol increased his offer to 6.50 euros ($6.89) per share,
or around 300 million euros, from an earlier 6.35 euros per
share, his investment vehicle Talpa Holding said in a statement.
De Mol's offer is 8.3 percent above a 6.00 euros bid that
Mediahuis and TMG's supervisory board agreed upon earlier on
Although De Mol's bid is higher, the Mediahuis bid enjoys an
apparently insurmountable advantage: its members collectively
already hold a 60 percent stake in the target, notably via the
Van Puijenbroek family, which has held shares in De Telegraaf
since the 1950s.
De Mol has built a rival 21 percent stake in TMG via Talpa,
potentially setting the stage for a legal fight over TMG.
TMG publishes the top-selling Dutch daily newspaper de
Telegraaf, as well as a popular celebrity magazine, Prive.
Mediahuis owns another major Dutch newspaper, NRC
Handelsblad, while Talpa owns 33 percent in television
broadcaster SNS and several leading Dutch radio stations.
In a statement late Sunday TMG's supervisory board said it
was "suspending" CEO Geert Jan van der Snoek and CFO Leo Epskamp
because they had been "insufficiently constructive and
realistic" toward the Mediahuis bid in the final phase of
Van der Snoek was seen as a supporter of the Talpa bid,
newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.
The TMG board, led by chairman Jan Nooitgedagt, will lead
talks while Van der Snoek and Epskamp have been placed on
temporary leave from the company, TMG said, citing the Dutch
corporate code that enables the supervisory board to carry out
such an action.
($1 = 0.9433 euros)
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Muralikumar