Spain's Telefonica offers 725 mln eur for local pay-TV stake

MADRID Tue May 6, 2014 4:48pm EDT

MADRID May 6 (Reuters) - Spain's Telefonica said on Tuesday it had made a 725-million-euro ($1 billion) binding bid for a controlling stake in the pay-TV business of Prisa , the indebted local media group that publishes El Pais newspaper.

Telefonica, which is also in the middle of a telecoms acquisition in Germany, said in a statement to Spain's stock market regulator after the market close that its offer was for 56 percent of the television unit.

It already owns 22 percent of the company, Distribuidora de Television Digital (DTS). Mediaset Espana, which is part-owned by Italy's Mediaset and owns the remaining 22 percent of DTS, declined to comment, as did Prisa.

Telefonica did not detail how it would pay for the stake. The telecoms group has been chipping away at its debt pile, built up through an acquisition spree, but it is also keen to bolster its offering to clients in a highly-competitive Spanish market, where it previously had a monopoly.

It is also vying to take over KPN 's E-Plus unit in Germany in a 8.6-billion-euro deal, and is currently in the process of trying to win anti-trust approval from the European Union.

Prisa, meanwhile, has been selling off assets, including Spanish-language book publishing divisions, as it tries to cut its debt burden of over 3 billion euros.

($1 = 0.7177 euros) (Reporting by Robert Hetz and Sarah White; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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