Advent sells Dutch radio station to John de Mol

Advent International has announced the sale of Radio 538, the Netherlands-based commercial radio station, to Talpa Radio International for an undisclosed sum.

Advent acquired Radio 538 in December 2003. In a period of less than two years the station has increased its overall audience share by approximately 20%, overtaking its nearest competitor, Sky Radio, to become the number one station in Holland.

Talpa Radio International is part of Talpa Media Holding, a privately owned group headed by John de Mol, best known in the UK as the founder of Endemol, the film production company behind reality TV show Big Brother.

Talpa Holding already owns two radio stations in Holland – Radio 10 Gold and Noordzee 100.7 FM. As a result of its acquisition of Radio 538, Talpa will be divesting its interest in Noordzee in order to comply with Dutch law, which prohibits media owners from operating more than one FM licence.

Advent International director Fred Wakeman, who led the Radio 538 investment, said: “Our strategy for 538 was predicated on the award of a new FM licence, which would enable the station to increase significantly its market coverage. With this under our belt, we focused on strengthening the appeal of an already powerful brand by expanding the station’s stable of nationally popular DJs.

“Radio 538’s success in winning listeners and in increasing its advertising share has created a valuable strategic asset in the Dutch radio market. Talpa is a highly complementary fit and we’re confident that 538’s talented team will continue to flourish under the stewardship of John de Mol.”

Erik de Zwart, CEO of Talpa Radio International, added: “Radio 538 is the market leader in the audience groups that are of greatest interest to advertisers. By coupling 538 with Radio 10 Gold, Talpa can now serve a substantial share of the Dutch market.”