CLT buys Tele Cinco stake

MADRID — Luxembourg’s CLT reportedly snapped up almost 20% of the Spanish commercial broadcaster Tele Cinco — the first such foray into the country by the feisty media conglom.

ONCE, Spain’s main association for the blind, just unloaded the bulk of its 25% stake in Tele Cinco for 7.5 billion pesetas (about $ 55 million).

That’s three times the price ONCE initially paid for the shares when the web started operating in 1990.

A rep for ONCE told the Spanish press that the sale was purely a profit-taking operation and was not spurred by any internal strife with its other partners in Tele Cinco, Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi (with a 25% stake) and his German counterpart Leo Kirch (with a 50% stake).

Although it retains a 6.25% stake in the channel, ONCE will withdraw entirely from participation in Publiespana, the subsidiary that handles all advertising sales in Spain for Tele Cinco.

After only three years, Tele Cinco’s audience ratings and ad market share are second only to the first channel of the country’s pubcaster TVE.

Among its media holdings, CLT owns five profitable broadcasters across the continent.

Final signatures on the ONCE/CLT sale must still be formalized, but details of the deal have already been agreed to by both sides, said sources.

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