Telefonica close to Canal Plus purchase
March 6, 2014
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Telefonica is close to finalising a deal to buy Prisa’s controlling 56 per cent stake in pay-TV platform Canal Plus for around €800 million. Telefonica would become the largest pay-TV group in Spain with almost 2.3 million subscribers between Canal Plus (1.62 million) and Movistar TV (650,000). Telefonica would control a 78 per cent stake in Canal Plus with the remaining 22 per cent with Mediaset.
Media group Prisa valued the company at €1 billion and was in a hurry to sell to tackle its losses. In 2013 it suffered increased losses of €648.7 million up from €255 million.
The move comes after Prisa recently gave a 15-day deadline to Telefonica and Mediaset, both with a 22 per cent stake in Canal Plus, to decide whether to bid for Prisa’s share. Telefonica has just reshuffled its pay TV offer with the launch of Movistar Fusion TV in an attempt to become the pay TV leader in the country.