Spain/ gets Christmas merger fever

December 18,// 2009

A realignment// of Spanish media interests is expected to complete in the next few days with a merger between Mediaset’s Telecinco and Prisa’s Cuatro channel.
The deal is expected to include a stake in the satcaster Digital+, which has been in play for much of 2009, and could be announced as early as today (Friday).

By including Digital+ Prisa will be able to pay off part of its heavy debt burden that represents six times the company’s core earning this year.

Prisa// took control of the Sogecable content division, comprising Cuatro and Digital+, in 2008 after the withdrawal of both Vivendi and Telefonica. The Spanish telco returned to the table in November, purchasing a 21% stake for €470 million.

Separately/, Antena 3 is in talks with La Sexta over a merger of their channel operations, though the two stations would continue to hold separate on-air identities/.