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Telefónica in €725 million bid for control of Digital+

Telefonica_0Telefónica has made a €725 million bid for a controlling stake in Prisa-backed Spanish pay TV operator Digital+.

According to a statement made to the Spanish stock market regulator yesterday, Telefónica is bidding for a 56% stake in Digital+’s holding company Distribuidora de Televisión Digital (DTS), in which it already holds a 22% stake.

Telefónica’s filing has not provided further financial details related to the bid. The group’s chief operating officer, José Maria Alvarez-Pallete, said in February that Telefónica wanted to expand its interest in TV.

The remaining 22% stake in DTS is owned by Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which has been trying to forge a pay TV alliance with international investors – reportedly Canal+ and Al Jazeera – into which the stake could be folded.

Heavily indebted Prisa is in the process of disposing of a number of assets, with the stake in Digital+ seen as a prime candidate for a sale.

Telefónica could combine the satellite-delivered pay TV platform with its own Movistar IPTV service, extending its reach and enabling it to offer bundled products to a wider range of subscribers.