* Bidding war over TMG enters 7th month
* Mediahuis/VPE offer has board’s backing
* De Mol owns 25 pct of TMG (Adds TMG, KBC, share price)
By Wout Vergauwen
June 14 (Reuters) - Dutch tycoon John de Mol has made a 300 million euro ($336 million) bid for Telegraaf Media Group (TMG) through his investment vehicle Talpa, the latest twist in a battle for control of the top-selling newspaper in the Netherlands.
The popular Telegraaf daily has been the subject of a bidding war, now well into its seventh month, between de Mol and a consortium led by Belgian publishing group Mediahuis.
Talpa said late on Tuesday it would offer 6.50 euros in cash per share.
Mediahuis and its partner VP Exploitatie (VPE) said only that they had taken note of de Mol’s offer. Their offer values TMG at around 274 million euros.
The Mediahuis-led consortium already holds a 60 percent stake in TMG, notably via the Van Puijenbroek family, which has held shares in De Telegraaf since the 1950s. Its offer in April received the backing of TMG’s supervisory board.
Mediahuis, which already owns Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad as well as several Flemish newspapers in Belgium, and TMG want to build a Dutch-Belgian multimedia company with a continued focus on the core news division.
TMG also owns Sky Radio and other entertainment channels which would complement assets already held by de Mol’s Talpa Media Holding such as the Dutch arm of SBS broadcasting.
TMG said it is studying the situation and will update the market later on. Its shares were down 1.4 percent 6.359 euros at 1100 GMT.
The chances of a successful offer by Talpa are “very slim”, KBC Securities analyst Ruben Devos wrote in a note to investors, citing the strategic shareholding of Mediahuis/VPE and the board’s backing of their offer.
De Mol’s Talpa Holding has built a rival 25 percent stake in TMG, which he had earlier pledged not to sell, effectively blocking Mediahuis’ plan to reach the 95 percent threshold required to initiate buy-out proceedings and take the company private. ($1 = 0.8926 euros) (Reporting by Wout Vergauwen; editing by Jason Neely and Keith Weir)