Telefonica Media, the multimedia filial of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, is in negotiations to take a majority stake in Barcelona-based distributor Manga Films.
A spokesperson for Telefonica Media confirmed that talks are in "early stages." Manga was reportedly in negotiations last year to sell a stake to Germany's Splendid Medien.
Manga would provide Telefonica with one of the last missing links in its vertical structure. The deal would also mark the first major acquisition for the filial under new head Juan Jose Nieto. It would also confirm Telefonica's intention to remain a heavy-hitter in the media business under new president Cesar Alierta, who replaced outgoing chairman Juan Villalonga last July.
Telefonica Media manages, among others, interests in content creation such as Endemol Entertainment, Lolafilms and Media Park. It also has free-to-air TV with Antena 3 in Spain and Telefe and Azul TV in Argentina, plus pay TV through Via Digital.
Headed by president Luis del Vals and vice-president Xavier Catafal, Manga is one of Spain's leading acquisitions forces on the international market. In February, the company signed a $22.4m multi-picture deal with Germany's Intertainment. Manga's theatrical subsidiary, Sherlock Media, was among the top 10 local distributors last year.