Baert Family

Baert Family

The Baert Family are the largest shareholders in Concentra, owning 91.3% of the company via the Stichting De Zeven Eycken vehicle. Concentra is a Belgian Media company which in 2013, together with Corelio, founded Mediahuis. Mediahuis is a Belgian-Dutch media conglomerate and leading publisher of newspapers in Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Germany, including De Standaard, De Telegraaf, NRC Handelsblad, Irish Independent.

Their roots in the media industry go back to 1879, when Nicolaas Theelen started Het Algemeen Belang der Provincie Limburg, a Catholic weekly newspaper. After his death in 1918, his son Frans took over the company. In 1933, he merged five weeklies - De Gazet van Genk, Het Algemeen Belang, De Gazet van Hasselt, De Gazet van Sint-Truiden, Onze Kempen and Limburg-Sport - into Het Belang van Limburg. Frans Theelen transformed his business into the public limited company Concentra in 1953.

Frans’ son-in-law, Jan Baert (1920 – 1986), began managing Concentra in 1953, alongside his wife Tony Martens. Jan and Tony took full control of Concentra after Frans’ death in 1972.

When Jan Baert died in 1986, his son, Peter Baert took over his management duties, until the early 2000s when he left to become the chairman of Arkimedes, an investment fund that specializes in startups and SMEs. During Peter’s time in charge, the company grew from being a newspaper publisher to being a more diversified media group. Concentras revenue also grew, from 2.5 billion francs in 1992, to over 7.6 billion francs in 1999. Today Peter Baert has unspecified responsibilities in the family office of the Baert family, but is currently believed to be active in the olive oil trade following a family quarrel.

Another son of Jan and Tony’s, Jan Beart Jr. is currently the Chairman of the Board at Concentra NV, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mediahuis NV.

Tony Baert remained a member of the board of directors until 2009, and is said to have played a crucial role in the Mediahuis merger, which took place in 2013. In 2004 she was awarded the title of Baroness. She was also a director of Voka Limburg, chair of the protection committee of Een Hart voor Limburg, chair of the BOIC Limburg department, member of Probus Hasselt van Veldeke, founding member of the Montgomery Club and non-profit organization De Wiekslag and jury member in the Stichting Burgmeester Meyers. She passed away in April 2022.

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