StudioCanal, the European film division of Vivendi Universal, is buying into its Spanish partner Sogepaq.
StudioCanal, which is itself set to be absorbed within Universal, is paying Euros42.75m ($36.2m) to Sogecable for a 45% stake in Sogepaq.
Sogepaq, which is responsible for Sogecable's film and TV acquisition, management and marketing activities, is crucially StudioCanal's minority partner in production and distribution arm StudioCanal Espana. The new move effectively gives StudioCanal 73% control of StudioCanal Espana.
Separately from StudioCanal Espana, Sogepaq distributes the StudioCanal, SogeCable and Universal Pictures Spain back catalogues. This week Sogepaq also announced that it had renewed its video distribution agreement with Universal.
The Sogepaq purchase is in line with other corporate manoeuvres by Vivendi Universal to buy increased or outright control of key subsidiaries. In addition to the StudioCanal buy-in (see separate story), it has also increased control at Canal Plus Poland and last month it announced that it is to buy the outstanding 48% of French game show producer Expand.