Portuguese body stops MC stake sale

Prisa must find new buyer for media shares

LISBON — Portugal’s anti-trust body has nixed Spanish media conglom Prisa’s sale of a 35% stake in Media Capital, which owns Portuguese net TVI, to Ongoing Media for Euro122 million ($164 million).

The authority based its decision on a previous ruling by the country’s media regulatory, which had cited Ongoing’s failure to sell its 23% stake in Portugal’s other key media group Impresa, which owns rival net SIC.

TVI continues to dominate primetime viewing — with a 34% share — but cash-strapped Prisa will be keen to find an alternative buyer for Media Capital in order to trim its $5.4 billion debt.

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