Leading Spanish producer Telespan 2000 is merging with Telson,the audiovisual arm of telecommunications giant Avanzit.

The idea is to create anintegratedmedia holding incorporating companies from all sectors, withthe Telespan team heading content creation.

The deal marks a first moveinto content creation for Telson, a specialist inpost-production services and thematic channel packaging, and forms part of anambitious plan to expand Avanzit's media division tocapitalize on the growing need for content in Spain, particularly with theexpansion of thetelevision sector.

Telespan 2000 chief Tomas Cimadevillasays his company will benefit from "greater financial strength and synergieswith other companies," continuing to independently produce films, documentaries,television and theatre, while also moving into new technologies such asinternet and mobile phones.

The share exchange agreementwill see Telespan owners paid Telsonshares valued at a total of between $13.8m-$17.6m (Euros 11m to 14m), pending duediligence.

Telespan is owned 33% by Cimadevilla,33% by Banco Gallego and33% by other shareholders. It has ongoing production and distributionarrangements with Telecinco production arm Estudios Picasso and Buena Vista in Spain, and isashareholder in film investment fund Filmanova Invest,which backed Alejandro Amenabar's best foreignlanguage Oscar winner The Sea Inside (MarAdentro).

Outside Spain, Telespan is best known for hit comedies such as Football Days (Dias De Futbol),The Other Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama) and itssequel The 2 Sides Of The Bed (Los 2 Lados De La Cama). Itsdocumentary The Railroad All-Stars (Estrellas De La Linea)screened at the Berlinale in February and the HotDocs Toronto International Documentary Film Festival in April.