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SBD Global/May 8, 2014/Media

Spanish Telecom Telefónica Offers Broadcaster Prisa $1B For Pay-TV Channel Canal+

Spanish telecom company Telefónica "will spare no resources to buy Canal+, the pay-TV channel of Spanish broadcaster Prisa," according to Piña & Urrutia of EL MUNDO. Telefónica will offer Prisa €725M ($1B) for a 56% share in the broadcaster. Telefónica, "which is led by its CEO, César Alierta, has a 22% share" in Canal+, which is also known as DTS. The "last big operation in this sector," Vodafone's acquisition of cable operator Ono, cost €7.2B. Since "the beginning of this year, Telefónica has hit the accelerator in purchasing TV rights to major sporting events." The telecom "has made an offer that it will be difficult for Prisa to reject." Prisa President Juan Luis Cebrián "has insisted on several occasions that it is necessary to make divestments in audiovisual assets to relieve the group's difficult financial situation." Prisa closed '13 with a total net debt of €7.2B (EL MUNDO, 5/6). BLOOMBERG's Orihuela & Lepido reported Banco De Sabadell analyst Andres Bolumburu said that the "proposed transaction faces regulatory hurdles because DTS and Telefonica together control" 62% percent of Spain's pay-TV market. A person "familiar with the matter," who asked "not to be identified because the deliberations are private," said that Mediaset would prefer to stay in DTS because of "synergies with its Italian pay-TV business Premium, and possibly increase its influence through an agreement with Telefonica." Mediaset "also doesn’t rule out exiting DTS if Telefonica makes an offer that is attractive enough, the person said." Prisa shares climbed 7.9% to "42.6 euro cents at 12:06 p.m. in Madrid." Telefonica added 0.5% to €11.95 ($16.63) (BLOOMBERG, 5/7).
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