(Adds details and background)
By Robert Hetz
MADRID, June 18 Spain's Telefonica is
offering up to 355 million euros ($483 million) for Mediaset
Spain's 22 percent stake in Digital+ in a deal that
could eventually give it full control of the Spanish pay-TV
The Spanish telecoms firm said on Wednesday it had made a
binding offer worth 295 million euros for the Digital+ stake and
a further 30 million euros if it gives up its acquisition rights
for a stake held by Spanish media group Prisa.
Telefonica, which already holds 22 percent of Digital+,
last month agreed with Prisa to buy its 56 percent stake in a
deal that is awaiting clearance by anti-trust authorities and
It also said it would pay Mediaset Spain an additional 10
million euros if it successfully finalises the acquisition of
the Prisa stake and up to another 20 million euros over a period
of four years depending on subscribers to the service.
The Spanish arm of the Italian group Mediaset, which
is expected to hold a board meeting in Madrid on Wednesday to
discuss the offer, has until the end of the week to make a
decision, a source close to the deal said.
Mediaset must decide to sell or keep the stake or exercise
an option to make its own bid for Prisa's slice of Digital+.
Selling the stake in Digital+ would have a positive
financial impact for Mediaset, whose core advertising business
is being hit by an uncertain economic recovery, although it
could put at risk its plans to put its pay-TV business into a
Italian brokerage ICBPI incorporates 0.35 euros in its 4.05
euro price target on Mediaset shares to reflect the spin-off
plan, which could create synergies and possibly bring on board
fresh resources through the sale of a stake in the new company
to a partner.
At 0825 GMT, Mediaset shares were up 1.9 percent in Milan at
3.1 euros per share, while in Madrid Mediaset Spain rose 0.9
percent to 8.75 euros and Telefonica was up 0.52 percent at
(Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Writing by Paul Day;
Editing by Tracy Rucinski and David Holmes)