De Persgroep acquires Independer

De Persgroep and Achmea announce today that they have reached an agreement concerning the acquisition of Independer by de Persgroep.

Independer is the largest digital comparison and advisory platform in the Netherlands for insurance, banking products, mortgages and energy. It makes small and large financial decisions transparent and easy to understand, enabling consumers to make their own choices. The website is visited 17 million times a year and some six million comparisons are made annually. The company is based in Hilversum and has over 300 employees.

Every day, de Persgroep aims to be everybody’s favourite destination, with brands and services that inform, inspire and guide people in their daily lives. With news media such as de Volkskrant, AD and the regional titles and with services such as the Nationale Vacaturebank, Tweakers and Autotrack, the brands of de Persgroep are an independent beacon of trust and inspiration for millions of people living in the Netherlands. The online services of de Persgroep make it easier for consumers to make difficult choices by making the range of products transparent and by helping them with good information and independent advice. The mission and vision of Independer fit seamlessly with the philosophy and brands of de Persgroep. This makes Independer a valuable reinforcement to the company’s digital path.

Independer has developed strongly in recent years under the share ownership of Achmea. The business has grown significantly in terms of numbers of visitors, revenue and performance. At the same time, Independer has also contributed a great deal to Achmea. Encouraged by the collaboration with Independer, the customer focus and innovative strength of the organisation has accelerated. For Achmea, this means that the main goal of the strategic alliance with Independer has been achieved. The strategic choice has now been made for an even sharper focus on online customer service via its own distribution channels. For Achmea, the sale will lead to a transaction result of approximately €150 million.

Coen de Ruiter, Managing Director of Independer: “Independer’s strength is that we enable consumers to make their own financial decisions by making choices transparent and manageable. Making sense of the world without losing depth is also the strength of the news media of de Persgroep. We therefore see this as a very natural match with our new owner. At Achmea, we have been able to successfully develop independently in the past few years. In this new phase in which we are becoming part of the largest media company in the Netherlands, we see plenty of opportunities to generate further growth. For example, we will be able to provide even more consumers with financial insight when they really need it in their lives.”

Erik Roddenhof, CEO of de Persgroep: “As a comparison site, Independer is the undisputed market leader in insurance and personal finance in the Netherlands. Independer is a strong brand, independent and highly driven to help consumers. Along with the other brands of de Persgroep, we can make the lives of consumers just a bit more pleasant and easier. We’re therefore delighted to welcome Independer and a great group of new colleagues. We believe that we can offer the company a promising future with us and help it grow further.”

Willem van Duin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Achmea: “The collaboration with Independer has brought us a lot. Thanks in part to Independer, Achmea has become a leader in mobile and online services in the Dutch insurance market, allowing us to achieve the main ambition of our collaboration. De Persgroep has made us an excellent offer, generating a substantial transaction result for Achmea. This will be used to further improve our services to customers via the direct, intermediary and banking channels. In addition, we will be using our successful digital format to launch new concepts in larger markets, including Canada.”

The planned transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. The works council has, of course, been involved in the process. De Persgroep and Achmea expect to be able to complete the transaction this year.