Venture marks first of kind in Spanish TV

MADRID — Taking advantage of new legislation allowing stock market listings for TV companies in Spain, media conglom Sogecable on Monday was set to become the first publicly quoted TV enterprise in the country, launching on local exchanges through July 20.

Sogecable CEO Javier Diez de Polanco said Friday that Sogecable will float 25% of its capital base, whose total value is estimated to be between $2.1 billion and $2.4 billion. Sogecable will also issue new shares worth $143 million-$156 million.

Investor interest

While most initial public stock offerings have underperformed this year in Spain, insiders here suggested that investors will respond strongly to Sogecable’s stock market sally.

Sogecable is the leading Spanish pay TV operator, owning channel Canal Plus with 1.7 million subscribers and digital platform CanalSatelite Digital (CSD) with some 715,000 subs.

Abroad, Sogecable, which also owns production house Sogetel and distrib Sogepaq, is closely associated with 25% shareholder Canal Plus. In Spain, media conglom Prisa, a 25% stake holder in Sogecable, owns the country’s most read newspaper, El Pais.

Sogecable’s public flotation likely will be used to help cover its hefty product deals for Canal Plus and CSD with all the U.S. major studios, except MGM, which are worth some $1.6 million in multiyear payments. The new funds also will help fuel further expansion, such as in TV production.

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