Spanish publishing and media giant Grupo Planeta has bought 25.1% of Spanish free-to-air broadcaster Antena 3 from telecommunications company Telefonica, the companies announced Wednesday.
The deal values Antena 3 at Euros 1.45bn ($1.6bn). Telefonica is required by law to sell off its 59% stake in the broadcaster before going through with its planned merger with Sogecable to unite pay-TV platforms Via Digital and Canal Satelite Digital.
Telefonica has already approved plans to distribute a percentage of its shares in Antena 3 to Telefonica shareholders as dividends in kind, and launch an IPO for the broadcaster. These moves and the Planeta sale are pending approval by Spanish authorities.
A publishing behemoth in the Spanish-speaking world, Grupo Planeta re-launched its multimedia division last autumn. Called DeA Planeta, the division is a 50/50 joint venture with Italian publishing group DeAgostini and incorporates various feature film and TV production and distribution activities. Planeta also houses other local media interests.