Mediaset has confirmed it will purchase the Spanish free-to-air channel Cuatro from owner Prisa and take a 22% stake in Sogecable, the operating company of the Digital+ DTH satellite platform. Cuatro is being spun out of Sogecable into a new company that will be wholly owned by Mediaset’s Spanish TV operation Telecinco.
In return, Mediaset has launched a share issue for Telecinco, which after an increase in capital will give Prisa 18.3% of Telecinco’s equity. Based on an average 30 days of trading the shares will be worth around €550 million with an additional €500 million to be paid in cash, helping Prisa to reduce its sizeable debt.
Following the consolidation Mediaset will be looking to take advantage of Spain’s new advertising regulations that come into force next month and will prevent public broadcaster TVE from carrying commercials.
The move remains subject to approval by the respective boards and regulatory approval.