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WPP gets Mediapro stake

Partnership to speed up co.'s consolidation in film, TV prod'n

MADRID — The Sir Martin Sorrell-founded advertising conglom WPP has bought a 30% stake in one of Spain’s most aggressively expanding media companies, production and facilities house MediaPro.

WPP is “strengthening its expansion in important markets and sectors,” according to Barcelona-based MediaPro.

MediaPro, which records and manages the rights to a wide range of sportscasts, will package events for sponsorship by WPP clients, which include J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and media planning company Mindshare.

Good link

“MediaPro is an extremely well-managed, low-risk company with a wide business base. We share some common activities such as sports rights management and sports consulting, so there is a good link,” a WPP source said.

“There could be crossovers in advertiser-funded programming, production and post-production facilities for advertising, as well as the add-on attraction of a diversification into TV and film production,” the source added.

The partnership will allow MediaPro it to speed up its consolidation in film and TV production in Spain, or enter pic distribution.

Headed by co-prexies Jaume Roures and Gerard Romy, MediaPro co-produces projects with top players in Spanish film and TV.

It financed Oliver Stone’s Fidel Castro docu “Comandante,” struck a development/production pact for film and TV with Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo, and co-produced Spain’s latest Oscar candidate, “Mondays in the Sun.”

MediaPro has also made a play to buy Spanish distribber Lauren Films. Per Roures, the talks still continue.

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