Spain's Vertice 360 circling public listing


MADRID -- Spanish content powerhouse Vertice 360 is primed for a public listing Wednesday on Spain's continuous market exchange, becoming the first Spanish content provider company to float on the public bourse in Spain.

Vertice, the audiovisual branch of high-tech group Avanzit, is credited with having the muscle of a solid parent company and being in a unique position as Spain's only major content group independent of a broadcaster or political group.

"We are planning to be the leader in a sector in transformation," Vertice president Jose Maria Irisarri said. "We are innovators in a changing field, and what distinguishes us is the talent of our team and the fact that we are independent. We don't compete with our clients. We are their partners."

The group's activities have multiplied in the lead-up to Wednesday's listing, with the past 12 months seeing the integration of about 27 companies, with revenue jumping 53% from 80 million euros ($115.2 million) in 2006 to an expected 124 million euros ($178.6 million) for 2007. The company forecasts see continued growth -- particularly in the television sector -- to reach about 220 million euros in 2010.

Vertice employs 600 people and owns a large group of content providers, including TV content producer Notro Films, Spain's film production house Telespan 2000, production and postproduction services via Telson, logo and corporate imaging and soundtracks. Additionally, the group controls leading mainstream theatrical distributor Manga Films.

Vertice subsidiaries are producing popular fiction series for each of Spain's commercial and private broadcasters, such as Antena 3's "La Familia Mata" or Cuatro's "Question de Sexo," both of which have been renewed for next season.

Additionally, the company feeds Spain's TDT platforms for specially made content.

"We have a very ambitious plan for 2008, which sees us double our revenues from the television unit," Irisarri said, suggesting figures would climb from 20 million euros ($28.8 million) in revenue for 2007 to about 45 million euros ($64.8 million) for next year.

"We've gotten past the hump, and now our learning curve works in our favor," Irisarri said.

Market analysts expect the company to perform well and don't foresee share price opening below 3 euros ($4.30). Unlike Prisa, Sogecable or Vocento, which each have divisions dedicated to content and all trade on the Spanish exchange, Vertice's core business is content.

"There is no other content company in the market," Ibersecurities media analyst Glen Spencer Chapman said. "It is a new company in the sector, and the present situation favors a content provider more than an exhibition company."