Telefonica buying 20% of Digital Plus

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Telefonica is set to take a 20 per cent stake in Prisa-controlled DTH platform Digital Plus, for E400 million, valuing the platform at E2 billion – far from Prisa’s original expectation of E2.5 billion. The acquisition takes place 18 months after Telefonica sold its 16.73 per cent stake in Sogecable, Prisa's subsidiary that controls the pay-TV platform, for E650 million and after Prisa rejected a joint bid by Telefonica and Vivendi Universal.

It is not ruled out that Italy's Mediaset may take another 20 per cent in the platform as the group has been looking to widen its presence in Spanish TV, where it already owns the controlling stake in free-to-air channel Telecinco.

Prisa has been looking to sell the digital platform to help pay off its E5 billion debt and restructure its media business, including commercial TV channel Cuatro. At the end of September, Digital+ counted 1,899,216 subscribers paying an average of E39.30 a month

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