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Antena 3 and La Sexta agree merger

Spanish broadcasters Antena 3 and La Sexta have agreed to merge in a deal that will give Televisa a stake in Spanish production and distribution group Imagina

Antena officially said it was in talks with La Sexta but that a deal was not certain. Later reports suggest that the merger has been agreed in principle but was awaiting board approval, which could come as soon as today.

La Sexta shareholders will get 14% of the new entity under the terms of the deal assuming it meets certain targets. Televisa, the largest producer of Spanish language content in the world, confirmed that it agreed to swap its 40.8% stake in La Sexta for 14.5% of Imagina, which is already a shareholder in La Sexta. Its stake will increase Imagina’s stake in La Sexta to 92%.

The deal comes one year after Mediaset-owned commercial broadcaster Telecinco acquired smaller rival Cuatro in December 2010 and marks the latest concentration of power in the Spanish broadcasting business.