Publishing company De Telegraaf makes major Internet acquisition

First take-over of new business segment Telegraaf Classified Media.

Amsterdam, 21 November 2005 – Publishing company De Telegraaf, part of  Telegraaf Media Groep, joins the online dating market. Today, the media company announced that as from 1 January 2006 it intends to take an interest of 70% in Relatieplanet and Iwannadate. Relatieplanet is the largest dating site in the Netherlands, Iwannadate ranks as number five. De Telegraaf will thus immediately become the market leader in dating, with a database of over 600,000 active profiles. The take-over also means a significant increase in online reach. To realise its ambitions in this and other Classified Ads sites, Telegraaf Classified Media was recently set up. This is the first take-over by the new company.
Relatieplanet.nl is the most frequently visited dating site in the Netherlands, and one of the largest in Belgium. Since its inception in 2002, the site has registered more than 1.1 million singles. The site currently has over 400,000 active visitors’ profiles and over 1 million unique visitors every month. Iwannadate.nl has about 200,000 active profiles and visitors. 
Publishing company De Telegraaf will not say anything about how much was involved in the take-over.  The take-over is in line with the company’s ambition to become a leading player in classifieds , both on-line and off-line. Far-reaching integration of newspaper, the Internet and mobile services is the main priority. “We have said it before: in this market it is more and more about the number of contact moments that we generate,” says Frank Volmer, board member of Publishing Company De Telegraaf about the acquisition.  “This take-over shows that we are serious about developing these consumer contacts. It allows us to use all platforms, meaning newspaper, the Internet, mobile services but also television and, not forgetting, events. As far as the latter is concerned, we are also making progress, after expanding our interest in Expomedia. In dating in particular, an integrated offer like this one is crucial to make sure we are and continue to be a leading player”. 
Telegraaf Classified Media
To realise its ambition in Classified Ads, the company Telegraaf Classified Media B.V. was recently set up. It brings together Supply and Demand in the traditional markets by means of newspapers, magazines, events, Internet sites and mobile applications. Besides the two dating sites, Speurders.nl, Vacaturekrant.nl, AutoTelegraaf, Woonkrant, Botentekoop.nl and Campers & Caravans are also part of Classified Media. The numbers of visitors and advertisements are high and growing by the week. Speurders.nl is one of the recent initiatives with currently over 1.3 million advertisements. Since its launch in September 2004, the site is among the top 10 most frequently visited Internet sites in the Netherlands. 
It is the first time that Telegraaf Classified Media is involved in Supply and Demand of dating ads. Quintin Schevernels, responsible for Telegraaf Classified Media: “Given the growing number of singles in the Netherlands, the social acceptance of finding a partner through the Internet and the increasing possibilities of new technologies, this is an interesting market with a huge perspective.” 
“By joining the De Telegraaf, Relatieplanet and Iwannadate have many possibilities to strengthen their position. We look forward to using the strength of the Telegraaf concern and exchanging knowledge and expertise in the field of multimedia”, says Chris van Tuijl, founder and director of Webdetail Media B.V., up till now owner of both dating sites. The Internet company from Roden, which currently employs 16 persons, will continue as before. The take-over does not have any consequences for the workforce. 
Reaching 2.5 million consumers a day 
During the second quarter of this year, the news media of Publishing Company De Telegraaf (printed newspaper, Internet and mobile news service) reached some 2.5 million consumers a day. On a monthly basis, the net reach of the combined news media amounts to 6.8 million ‘unique’ consumers. This amounts to half of the Dutch population over the age of 13.