Telefonica to buy 20% stake in Digital+

November 23, 2009

The Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is set to take a 20% stake in the DTH platform Digital+. According to reports in the Spanish press, the deal will be worth between EUR 400 and EUR 450 million. The deal would value Digital+ at between 2 and 2.2 billion euros.

For the past few months talks between the two parties have been going on with the main discussion point being the price to be paid by Telefonica. Only eightteen months ago the Spanish telecoms incumbent sold its 16,73% stake in Sogecable, Prisa’s subsidiary that controls the pay-TV platform, for EUR 650 million. Earlier, Prisa rejected a joint bid by Telefonica and Vivendi Universal as being too low.

If the deal indeed goes through, there is also a possibility that Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset will also take a 20% share in the platform. Prisa is looking to lower its heavy debt, which now totals around 5 billion euros.
Under the agreement, Telefonica will have two seats on the broard of on Digital+. Only part of the purchase will be in cash.

At the end of Septmber, 2009, Digital+ counted 1,899,216. subscribers paying an average of 39.3o euros a month.