Mediapro secures loan agreement to aid growth plans

Spanish agency Mediapro has sealed a five-year syndicated loan agreement with eight banks worth €306m ($352.2m), in a move it said will aid expansion plans.

Mediapro said the new agreement will allow it to restructure its funding and lead to the cancellation of a €155m syndicated loan signed a year ago, as well as a €98m derivative-based funding instrument.

The financial institutions which participated in the operation are Caixa Bank, Banco de Santander, BBVA, Banco Popular, City, BNP, ICF and Banco de Sabadell. Mediapro said in a statement: “The operation endows the group with liquidity, thereby consolidating its position in order to continue its geographical and operational process of expansion.”

Mediapro last month recorded a 40-per-cent increase in its gross operating profit for the 2015 financial year, adding that it expects a further rise for 2016. The group secured ebitda (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) of €129m, versus the 2014 figure of €90m. This was achieved despite turnover dropping 1.37 per cent year-on-year from €1.53bn in 2014 to €1.509bn.

Mediapro said its forecasts for 2016 place ebitda at approximately €170m, adding that all of its divisions – Audiovisual Services, Content and Audiovisual Rights – contributed to the overall growth in 2015.

In 2015, LaLiga, the governing body of the Spanish football league, commissioned the agency to handle the international marketing of its rights and in doing so, secured sales in excess of €600m. In 2015, Mediapro was also selected as the agent for managing international rights of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A league, while it also secured the rights to the Formula One motor racing championship across multiple markets in Latin America. In Spain, Mediapro secured the principal premium content package offered by LaLiga for the upcoming three seasons.

During 2015, Mediapro launched two new premium television channels exclusively devoted to Formula One and international football. In collaboration with beIN Sports Media, the group set up the beIN Sports pay-television channel in Spain. Canal F1 Latin America was formed as the platform to exploit Mediapro’s Formula One rights in the region.