Mediaset ups investment to close Cuatro deal

Iñaki Ferreras | 06-12-2010

Leading Italian media group Mediaset has extended its capital investment in Spain's national independent channel Telecinco to €44,4 million in order close its merger with Sogecable's national private channel Cuatro.

This now represents a total capital extension of just over 51% and follows a cash injection in November 2010 of a total of €499,2 million by issuing new shares each valued at €5,75. The cost of that extension was €43,4 million.

Through this measure Telecinco's Board of Directors wanted to gather the necessary capital to match the €500 million Telecinco will allocate Sogecable's media group owner Prisa after having completed the merger between Cuatro and Telecinco and also after have taken a participation of 22% in Sogecable's satellite pay-TV operator Digital+.

The operation will be completed on 24 December 2010 and from that date Cuatro will start being produced in Telecinco's headquarters. Telecinco has actually already started building a new building for this purpose.

The owners say that the merger will not mean Cuatro will lose its best content but that it will be a complementary channel to Telecinco and that from January 20111 it will be a new Mediaset's Spanish channel together with Telecinco, La 7, Factoría de Ficción and Boing.

Telecinco's news producing agency Atlas will be in charge of Cuatro's news programmes and will also produce some other content according to market sources.