Spain’s Prisa buys film prodco Tesela

Deal broadens media group's portfolio

MADRID — Prisa, Spain’s biggest media group, has ramped up its production assets with the acquisition of 80% of Spanish film production company Tesela through its expanding film and TV production subsid, Plural Entertainment.

Headed by vet film producer Jose Vicuna, Plural, which launched Feb. 2001, aims to forge film and TV alliances with key, upscale production companies in the U.S., Latin America and Spain.

It already has established long-term co-prod pacts with leading Mexican indie production house Argos Comunicacion and The New York Times.

A majority stake in Tesela widens the company’s portfolio. Co-owned by its managing director Jose Antonio Felez, the four-year-old Tesela has carved out a reputation as a tightly-run outfit which nurtures new directors, most notably Achero Manas, whose debut, “Pellet,” won him the European Film Academy Fassbinder new talent award last December and grossed €3 million ($2.9 million) at the Spanish B.O.

Tesela is producing Manas’ second pic, “Noviembre,” about a young theater troupe, which shoots from August.

An indirect 80% in Tesela increases Prisa’s production muscle. Prisa is the 21% managing shareholder of Spanish pay TV leader Sogecable, which in turn holds 100% in top Spanish production company Sogecine.

But Prisa’s stake in Sogecable will drop to 16% if Sogecable’s mooted pay TV merger with satcaster Via Digital is approved by anti-trust authorities.

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