Via receives capital lift

But shareholder Televisa not much help

MADRID — Spanish satcaster Via Digital has proceeded with an anticipated $262 million capital infusion, but without much help from 17% shareholder Televisa, which has seen its stake now reduced to 8.8%.

The expansion of Via Digital looks set to open the way for satcaster Galaxy Latin America (GLA), controlled by Hughes and the Cisneros Group, to up its stake to some 25%, making it the No. 2 shareholder in the platform.

Spanish telco Telefonica said it has taken a provisional 68% stake, but has plans to drop that to around 40%, selling stakes to current and new Via shareholders.

Via needs more coin to broker deals for Hollywood hits and soccer rights. But the strain has shown on some of its shareholders.

Contrary to reports (Daily Variety, April 27), Mexican media conglom Televisa did take part in the capital amplification, but only to a nominal tune of $11 million.

A novelty in the share reshuffle is the entry into Via Digital of Media Park, Spain’s largest pay TV channel packager, with a 3.2% participation. Media Park already handles seven nets for Via.

(Andrew Paxman in Miami contributed to this story.)

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