Amid intense speculation, Telefónica has purchased a 21% stake in Sogecable, operator of Digital+ from Prisa for €470 million. It places a value of over €2,350 million on the direct-to-home satellite platform.
“The agreement will enable Telefónica to maximise its position in a market with huge growth potential,” said Telefónica chief executive César Alierta (pictured right). “With the agreement, the provision of converged products and services from Telefónica will give a greater and more comprehensive response to the requirements of the customer.” The move, which includes an agreement on content, will also help boost Telefónica’s IPTV platform Imagenio.
Prisa’s executive chairman Juan Luis Cebrián who described the telco as the best strategic partner welcomed Telefónica’s involvement. He said the agreement would help give Digital+ financial stability.
Telefónica was a founder shareholder of the Vía Digital platform that merged with Sogecable in 2002. The telco withdrew from the company a year later.
12-year old Digital+ has around 1.9 million subscribers, but has lost customers in successive quarters, a problem due in part to the state of the Spanish economy.