February 28th 2019
Newen acquires De Mensen,
leading Belgian audiovisual producer
Newen is acquiring a majority stake in De Mensen, one of Belgium’s leading producers of scripted and unscripted audiovisual content. De Mensen creates content for public and private channels in Belgium, for platforms like Netflix and for numerous international clients attracted by the various formats the company offers.
The acquisition of De Mensen, a leader on the Flemish market with recurring programmes and present in French-speaking Belgium via its subsidiary Les Gens, is consistent with Newen’s growth strategy. The two groups are expected to benefit from strong synergies in production, format sharing and distribution.
Newen is taking a majority 60% stake in the capital of De Mensen. De Mensen’s founders and directors Raf Uten and Maurits Lemmens will retain minority stakes and continue to develop their group from within Newen.
For Bibiane Godfroid, chairwoman of Newen: "Following on the heels of Pupkin and Nimbus in 2018, this important operation is emblematic of our development strategy, one priority of which is to foster the development of European drama content by joining forces with the most talented players. De Mensen already has a solid reputation for producing both drama and unscripted content, and significant potential for further development. As part of Newen, De Mensen will be able to build on the expertise that has enabled it to create international successes such as Team Chocolat, Beau Séjour and Undercover. With Romain Bessi, our Managing director, we look forward to generating strong synergies in partnership with Raf and Maurits and their teams, not just in the creative process but also in distribution and production."
For Raf Uten, founder and director of De Mensen : "This takeover marks the next logical step in our company’s development. We share the same vision as Newen. Like us, they believe in Europe-wide collaboration for the creation of high-quality programmes. We are convinced that international financing is essential for us to be able to continue creating quality content."
Maurits Lemmens, founder and director of De Mensen : "We are proud of our achievements over the last 18 years, made possible by so many talented people. We plan to continue on this path while preserving our name and essential character."
Founded in 2008, Newen is a subsidiary of the TF1 Group and France’s leading producer of audiovisual content that is currently expanding its presence on international markets. More than 1,000 hours of programmes are produced each year by the group’s different subsidiaries: Telfrance, CAPA, 17 juin média and Blue Spirit in France, Tuvalu and Pupkin in the Netherlands and Nimbus in Denmark.
Newen creates programmes for players across the sector. Whether for public and commercial channels or digital platforms, producing daily, prime-time drama or major series, feature-length animation or prestigious documentaries, non-scripted entertainment or news magazines, Newen responds to all demands, regardless of format, genre, budget, medium, or the target public.
Newen is a leading distributor of audiovisual content in France and abroad, with a catalogue containing more than 5,000 hours of programmes.
Newen’s talented teams create, innovate and invent the formats and stories of the future based on deeply-embedded values of expertise, quality, transmission, diversity and respect.
About De Mensen
Founded in April 2001, De Mensen is a Flemish production company that creates a wide range of content including game shows (Blokken, in its 13th season), travel programmes (Reizen Waes) and drama (Beau Séjour, Salamander and Professor T, all broadcast in or adapted for several European countries, and more recently, Undercover, which attracted close to 50% of viewers on its first airing in Flanders).
De Mensen boasts well-known faces like Ben Crabbé, Tom Waes and Cath Luyten, and several subsidiaries: Skyline Entertainment, Gardner and Domm, Het Laatste Bedrijf, Gallop Tax Shelter and the Virus.
One hundred staff work at the headquarters in Zaventem. De Mensen also has a presence going back several years in French-speaking Belgium through the Brussels-based production house Les Gens, of which it owns 100%.