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Telefónica moves for Mediaset’s Canal+ stake

Telefónica has offered €295 million (US$400 million) to acquire Mediaset’s 22% stake in Spanish pay TV operator Canal+.

The move to take full control of Digital+ follows Telefónica’s announcement of its agreement for the acquisition of Spanish media group Prisa’s 56% stake in the operator, formerly known as Digital+, for €750 million at the beginning of the month.

The telecom giant revealed its offer in a statement to the Spanish financial regulator the CNMV yesterday. This morning it said it would also pay €30 million to Mediaset if it accepted the offer, in compensation for the latter’s waiver of its right of first refusal for Prisa’s stake, and a further €10 million on completion of Telefónica’s acquisition of the latter.

Under the shareholder agreement for DTS, the holding company for Canal+, Mediaset has a right of first refusal or co-sale rights to Prisa’s stake in the company.

Under Telefónica’s proposed deal, Mediaset could also gain €20 million after four years depending on the future performance of the Spanish pay TV market, meaning it could receive a total of €355 million for the stake.

Mediaset’s response is unclear. The Italian media company has just announced that its board and that of Spanish unit Mediaset España have authorised the evaluation of their plan, unveiled earlier this year, to integrate the group’s combined pay TV activities in a single standalone company, unifying the 22% held by Mediaset España in Canal+ with Mediaset Premium, the group’s Italian pay TV unit.

The company said that the evaluation would “examine international development potential, possible synergies, the expansion of over-the-top services, as well as the eventual involvement of industrial and/or financial partners in the newco”.