Spain's Prisa puts Digital Plus on the block

Offers said to be hovering around $4.2 billion

MADRID -- Spanish media empire Prisa said it has received preliminary bids for its digital satellite platform Digital Plus from "strategic operators and financial companies."

The company, which owns film and TV powerhouse Sogecable, Spain's leading daily El Pais and radio chain SER, told Spain's stock exchange authorities of the interest.

Spanish reports say the bids circle the 3 billion euro ($4.2 billion) mark for the pay platform, which has a subscriber base of some 2 million and a first-half Ebitda of 175.6 million euro ($248 million).

Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, France's Vivendi, News Corp., Spanish commercial broadcaster Telecinco, cable operator ONO and France Telecom are among the companies rumored to have expressed interest in the asset.

Prisa has put Digital Plus on the auctioning block to repay debts incurred from its pricey buyout of other shareholders in Sogecable, which owns Digital Plus and free-to-air channel Cuatro.