Allies take 15% of Spain cabler

Japanese trading giant Itochu teams with Spanish electric utilities companies Iberdrola, Abengoa in deal

MADRID — Japanese trading giant Itochu has teamed with Spanish electric utilities companies Iberdrola and Abengoa to take 15% in Telefonica Cable Madrid, a consortium hoping to win a cable franchise for the Madrid region of Spain.

Multipark Madrid, a joint venture including regional pubcaster Telemadrid, recently bought up a 34% stake in Telefonica Cable Madrid, which is majority controlled by national telco Telefonica.

Itochu’s entry into the would-be Madrid cable operator consolidates its relationship with Telemadrid and Telefonica, all of which are shareholders in Spanish digital satcaster Via Digital.

Major competition for Telefonica Cable Madrid will come from Madrid Sistemas de Cable, owned by cable developer Cable Europa. France Telecom took a 10% stake in Madrid Sistemas de Cable two weeks ago.

Both consortia aim to offer cable services and basic telephony to the Madrid region, which has about 2 million TV homes.

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