Digital+ sale postponed?

Spanish publisher Prisa is having a hard time finding companies interested in buying out its digital satellite pay TV operator Digital+. Prisa values its operator at €3,000 million, but that is a sum no-one seems to want to pay, so the sale could very well be put off until next year.

According to financial sources: "if there's not money for financing €100 million operations how could there be moey to finance €2,000 million or more?"

News Corporation has withrawn from the process and other possible bidders are also on the way to doing so, such as Mexican tycoon América and Telmex's Carlos Slim or Mediaset's Telecinco.

In this last case Europe's most profitable channel Telecinco could join Spain's main telco Telefónica in order to create a joint-venture to go for Digital+. Telefónica is also having talks with French media group Vivendi to proceed the same way.

In Telefónica's case the telco has asked Deutsche Bank to prepare a report in which it analyzes what good it would be to buy out Digital+. The report recommends Telefónica not acquire Digital+ over a specific price which, according to some sources, Deutsche Bank sets at €1.700 million.

Telefónica, which has long admited its interest in Digital+'s 2 million subscribers, has denied its board of directors has made any decision on that yet.

Other companies such as French telco Orange, Liberty Media and Spain's main cable operator Ono are also interested in Sogecable's operator. But the operation could very well have to wait until 2009.