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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.

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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.