Orient Hontai Capital, one of China’s leading private equity groups, has confirmed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Imagina Media Audiovisual, part of Spain’s Mediapro Group, one of the largest independent TV firms based out of southern Europe.
The move sees Orient Hontai Capital acquiring the 19% participation held by Televisa in Imagina Media Audiovisual, as well as the stakes of Torreal and Mediavideo, adding up to a 53.5% shareholding in the company.
The transaction gives Imagina an enterprise evaluation of €1.9 billion ($2.37 billion). Remaining shareholders, WPP Group, and founders Tatxo Benet and Jaume Roures will retain their current stakes. No changes will be made to the existing shareholder’s agreement. Benet and Roures will continue in their management roles in the company.
Proposals from 12 potential investors were initially considered before Benet and Roures decided on Orient Hontai Capital, in a search for a new shareholder that could “generate clear synergies and converging interests.”
Already a large company in Europe, Imagina will trust to those synergies to help to grow its global reach.
To that end, Benet and Roures point to three main areas of activity that they believe present possible perspectives for consolidation and growth: Rights, content and audiovisual services. With Hontai attached, that growth should come not only in the company’s traditional markets of Spain, Europe and America, but also in China, and the Asian market as a whole.
“The agreement will provide the group with access to an emerging market like China, and the advantage of accessing this market in association with such an important partner as Orient Hontai Capital,” said Benet and Roures via statement.
“This acquisition is a crucial step towards Orient Hontai Capital’s international expansion in Europe,” said Tony Ma, CEO of Orient Hontai Capital: “With strong support from both Orient Hontai Capital and the best-in-class management team of Imagina, we are excited to witness the synergies and potential in China as well as globally, to be realized in the near future.””
The agreement is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018 after passing regulatory approvals.