Campaign: CDR alerts European media to Telecinco IPO - Financial PR

Campaign: Telecinco IPO

Client: Telecinco

PR Team: Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Timescale: May-June 2004

Budget: Undisclosed

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (CDR) was appointed by Spain's largest commercial TV broadcaster, Telecinco, to handle international media relations for its IPO in June - at £503m, the largest offering in Spain for the past three years. Rather than a capital-raising exercise, the listing came about following a decision by shareholders Dresdner Bank and ICE Finance of the Netherlands to sell their stakes, which amounted to more than a third of Telecinco.

The company, along with Antena 3 and state-owned broadcaster TVE1, dominates the Spanish TV market.

In 1996, CDR advised on the IPO of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's TV company Mediaset, a 52 per cent shareholder in Telecinco.

Objectives

To ensure positive media comment on Telecinco's 'equity story' - the reasons people should invest in the group. To build momentum around the IPO with institutional and retail investors.

Strategy and Plan

From London, CDR targeted print and online media in the UK, Italy, France and Germany, while Spanish PR agency Grupo Albion handled domestic press. The main barrier for the CDR team was working within the constraints of the IPO process, which limits what can be said to the media.

The agency's main focus was backing up the information put out by Telecinco at key points of the IPO - such as the intention to proceed and issuing of the prospectus - by briefing journalists.

Although business desks were naturally interested in a pan-European story, ensuring their access to senior management during the busy IPO period was crucial. Press in Italy were particularly interested in the Mediaset angle since the Berlusconi-owned company was issuing a dividend to shareholders.

Measurement and Evaluation

The influential Lex and Breaking Views columns, in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal Europe respectively, ran articles, as did their main papers. The Scotsman and Yahoo!

also covered the deal, as did news-wires Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and AFX, plus Ansa and Radiocor in Italy. There was trade coverage in EuroWeek and International Financing Review.

Italian nationals and magazines that picked up the story included Milano Finanza and La Republica, while in France, the Telecinco IPO was covered by Les Echos, La Tribune and Le Figaro.

Results

Shares were released in four tranches to Spanish retail customers, Telecinco employees and institutions at home and abroad. Take-up of shares was at the top end of the expected price, suggesting an initial market capitalisation of £1.9bn. The institutional portion of the offering was 20 times subscribed and Telecinco shares rose 20 per cent on debut on 24 June.

Comment was generally positive. CDR provided sufficient access and information, according to Financial Times media editor Tim Burt. 'It was relatively straightforward,' he says. 'The institutional roadshow came through London and Edinburgh where CDR made the top three executives of the company available on a one-to-one basis. We had a decent amount of time with them. In terms of information, everything was fine.'

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