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France's Vivendi to buy 7.6% stake in Spain's Prisa

FILE PHOTO: French media giant Vivendi's logo is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris, France, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MADRID (Reuters) - French media company Vivendi said on Friday it agreed to buy a 7.6% stake in Spanish rival Prisa, sending shares in the owner of Spain’s influential El Pais newspaper up 10% at opening.

“Buying shares in Prisa is part of Vivendi’s ongoing strategy to become a global leader in content, media and communications, while extending its access to the Spanish-speaking markets,” the French group said in a statement.

The acquisition came as HSBC has agreed to sell its 7.89% stake for 52 million euros ($63.21 million) in the Spanish media group, which also owns TV producing and radio assets in Spain and Latin America.

A spokesman for Vivendi declined to say whether the French group bought its stake from the bank.

Prisa shares jumped more than 10% at the market opening and were up 6.2% at 0.996 euros as of GMT.

Beleaguered Prisa, which is struggling with a huge debt pile, is controlled by activist fund Amber Capital led by French investor Joseph Oughourlian.

($1 = 0.8226 euros)

Reporting by Inti Landauro and Blandine Henault; editing by Jason Neely

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