Telecinco closes Prisa TV buyout

Iñaki Ferreras | 29-12-2010

An extraordinary meeting of the Board of Shareholders of Mediaset's Spanish national network Telecinco have approved the integration of former Sogecable subsidiary Prisa TV's national independent channel Cuatro into Telecinco.

This operation was made through the exchange by Grupo Prisa—Prisa TV's owner—of 18,041% of Telecinco's shares leaving the latter Spain's leading TV company and also one of Europe's leaders.

Both parties approved the capital extension by launching new ordinary Cuatro shares to a total of €36.7 million. The new shares will be valued at €0.5 each apart from an extra €7.80 per share so the total amount of the capital extension amounts to €572,535.

Telecinco also approved the extension of its Board of Directors from thirteen to fifteen members now including Grupo Prisa's executives Manuel Polanco and Juan Luis Cebrián.

The meeting also approved the Telecinco's option to execute the right to veto Prisa TV's digital pay-TV operator Digital+, mainly concerning the yearly budgets and the operator's business plans which were previously authorised by Spain’s Competition National Commission (CNC). If the CNC authorise this operation, Telecinco would give back its 22% share in Digital+ and Prisa would return a set portion of its stake in Telecinco.

After the integration of Prisa TV's Cuatro in Telecinco and the acquisition of 22% of Digital+, Telecinco believes that it will inaugurate a new era which will be a landmark in Spain's audiovisual sector.

Each of Telecinco's channels will maintain their own identity: Telecinco as an all audiences channel; Cuatro for young and urban audiences; Factoría de Ficción as a TV series channel; La Siete as a container of Telecinco and Cuatro's best content; Boing for teenagers and children's audiences between 4 and 12 years of age; Canal Gran Hermano 24 Horas as the biggest reality show channel replacing the recently terminated 24 hour news channel CNN+ which Sogecable launched some years ago in association with Turner Broadcasting System.

The closure of CNN+ has caused a big uproar as it was one of the few impartial news channels.