Advanced Television

Private equity eyes Sogecable

May 30, 2008

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The sale of Sogecable pay-TV division, Digital Plus, is also attracting interest from several private equity firms, such as Permira and Apax, with suggestions that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim and even Telefónica are potential bidders.

Prisa has hired HSBC to handle the sale process. The company is now in a hurry to sell the pay-TV division as the HSBC’s E4.11 billion bridging loan to finance the recent Sogecable takeover bid is about to expire.

Prisa has a recent valuation of Sogecable carried out by Morgan Stanley, with around E3 billion, including debt. For the company, Digital Plus has become a financial burden. The pay-TV division only captured 15,000 subscribers in the first quarter against Telefónica's 45,000 and ONO’s 51,000.

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