Economy

A Chinese company buys Mediapro and become the owner of Spanish football rights

China’s economic expansion has long exceeded its national borders. Always under strict state control, the business investments of the Yellow Giant are counted by millions around the world. They include traditional sectors such as oil exploration or mining; lately, they reach the media and football teams.

One of the latest companies to change ownership and be under the control of the Chinese Yuan is Mediapro. It is a producer of audiovisual services that owns the television rights of La Liga.

The new owners

In the firm Orient Hontail Capital are the new majority shareholders of Imagina Media Audiovisual. A subsidiary of Orient Securities, it is one of the most important securities operators in Asia.

The Asian group took the package of shares owned by the investment company Torreal (22.5%) and the Mexican group Televisa (19%). They also acquired the 12% that was in the hands of businessman Gerard Romy, one of the founding partners of the company.

After disbursing more than 1,100 million Euros, Orient Hontail now controls 53.5% of the shares in Mediapro. The British advertising, marketing and audiovisual services firm WPP maintains its share (22.5%), as do the entrepreneurs Taxto Benet and Jaume Roures (12% each). They will also continue to lead the operations.

The football rights

Mediapro owns the distribution rights of La Liga de Fútbol de España until the end of the 2018/2019 season. The same applies to La Copa del Rey. In addition, it has just won the rights to the Champions League and Europa League for the next three years, after a strong bid where it narrowly exceeded Movistar’s proposal.

But the picture may change in the coming months. Facebook and Amazon have made public their intentions to participate in the auction of the television rights of Spanish football for the period 2019-2022. It is estimated that this will raise investment to unpredictable levels.

With the new capital in its coffers, the company will be able to compete face to face against the American giants, an action that has left behind many of the “traditional” media that have broadcast national football for years.

Other profits

Mediapro owns the distribution rights of La Liga de Fútbol de España until the end of the 2018/2019 season. The same applies to La Copa del Rey. In addition, it has just won the rights to the Champions League and Europa League for the next three years, after a strong bid where it narrowly exceeded Movistar’s proposal.

But the picture may change in the coming months. Facebook and Amazon have made public their intentions to participate in the auction of the television rights of Spanish football for the period 2019-2022. It is estimated that this will raise investment to unpredictable levels.

With the new capital in its coffers, the company will be able to compete face to face against the American giants, an action that has left behind many of the “traditional” media that have broadcast national football for years.

What Orient Hontai earns

Beyond the broadcast rights of The League, the Champions’ League and the Europa League, the Chinese consortium is also committed to other things. The group-a young firm just founded in 2014-has been acquiring media, digital platforms and mobile applications in a sustained manner.

The purchase of Mediapro represents the most important disbursement made so far. But it is also an open statement about its plans for growth outside Asia and its intention to become a global communications group.

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