Publisher Zeta nixes steel offer

Shareholders decline new takeover bid

MADRID — In a surprising move, Spanish publishing and media conglom Zeta Group has rejected a purchase offer for its controlling stake made by Spanish steel entrepreneur Alfonso Gallardo.

In a June preliminary agreement Gallardo was to buy 80% of Zeta for a reported 500 million euros ($778 million).

After carrying out due diligence, Alfonso Gallardo Group made a new takeover bid to Zeta shareholders, which has been declined.

Controlled by Antonio Asensio Mosbah, Zeta owns flagship daily newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya, newsmag Interviu and a film and TV division, which stayed separate from the negotiations with Gallardo.

“The initial price for Zeta seemed high, considering that Zeta’s main revenues come from its press division, which is suffering from declining ad investment,” said a Madrid-based analyst.

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