Prisa pressures Telefónica on Digital+

The sale of Sogecable's Digital+ platform has not proven easy for owner Prisa. So now Sogecable is putting pressure on one remaining bidder, telco Telefónica (one of its shareholders) to put on the table a quick offer to raise the value of the operator and to close the operation before Prisa's shareholders meeting, taking place on Friday, December 5.

But Telefónica's main complaint in the whole process comes from the fact Sogecable has presented little information on the financial situation of its pay TV division, along with the difference in valuation.

The delay in selling Digital+ has been in part due to the present economic and financial crisis and in part because Prisa has been asking for a figure no-one is willing to pay: €3,850 million. Telefónica values the pay TV operator at some €2,000 million.

Prisa wants to make public a first agreement with Telefónica before its shareholders meet and to reach a final deal before Christmas.

Digital+’s former candidates were Spain's main cableoperator Ono, France’s main telco France Télécom and British pay TV operator BSkyB. French media group Vivendi could join forces with Telefónica in order to bid together for Digital+, but this is yet to be officially confirmed by any party involved.

Telefónica does not want to bid alone but with a partner because a sole bid for Digital+ could pose serious competition problems before the European Comission. The telco has its own pay TV business Imagenio which already reaches 600,000 subscribers while Digital+ accounts for more than 2 million.