Film-TV conglom eyes further international growth

MADRID — Seeking to diversify revenue streams as Spain’s crisis continues, Imagina Group, one of the biggest TV-film congloms in Spain, has raised a Euros355 million ($454 million) credit facility.

At least part of that looks set to power up its international expansion.

Made after a $31.7 million rights issue re-capitalizing Imagina, the loan matures in 2015.

The Royal Bank of Scotland and Citibank figure among 10 lenders backing the financial facility.

“The loan will allow the Imagina Group to invest in international expansion increasing its presence in markets with greater dynamism,” Imagina said in a press statement Friday.

Just how that expansion will be put through, and if all of the $454 million will be used for international growth, are, however, moot questions.

Controlled by Globomedia, Spain’s leading primetime drama producer, and Mediapro, a service, rights broking and production combo, Imagina leapt to international attention when Mediapro co-produced Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” and “Midnight in Paris.” Imagina International Sales, Spain’s top integrated film-TV sales operation, sold “Stranger” and “Midnight” worldwide.

Mexico’s Televisa also owns a 14.5% stake in Imagina.

Recently, Imagina has opened operations in Qatar, Paris, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Quito, Lima, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Imagina Group includes indie TV production company Promofilm, which targets the U.S. and Latin America, and Mediaworld, which brokers soccer rights to the U.S. Hispanic market.

“There are likely to be ample opportunities in terms of start-ups and acquisitions,” an analyst said.

“Assuming Imagina has not paid ridiculously high rates for the loan, it is positive for the group,” he added.

Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.

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