Jaume Roures will try to retain the technical contract with LaLiga and maintain his power at Barça after being fired from Mediapro

On October 27, the Board of Directors of Mediapro approved the dismissal of Jaume Roures as managing partner (actually, CEO) almost three decades after the Catalan producer launched, together with Tatxo Benet, an empire that has a turnover of more than 1,200 million euros annually, employs around 7,000 workers and in 2022 obtained a profit of 189 million euros.

This goodbye will inject new energy into the conglomerate that had to be revived last year with a capital increase of 620 million euros, which led to Southwind Group (belonging to the Chinese fund Orient Hontai) reaching 85% of the shareholders.

Mediapro, with a debt of around 400 million euros, A new stage begins under the direction of Tatxo Benet, which will continue to focus on the management of sports rights, the creation of content and the provision of technical services as the three flags of this Catalan factory with tax headquarters in the Netherlands.

final fight

The main Spanish production company, with 58 offices spread across 36 countries on four continents, will continue to encompass Media production, Globomedia, El Terrat, Overón or K2000 after the departure of Roures, who will try to sell the 5% of shares he maintains in the company.

Mediapro sources explain to this newspaper that Roures “forced his departure after showing his disagreement with the new stage that the company will undertake, perhaps with the sale to a third party, since the Southwind Group fund is considering its sale because it believes that the recent good numbers of the company have created a favorable moment for divestment.

The end of Roures at Mediapro has been bitter despite the fact that the company assured that “Roures and Benet have been key pieces in the evolution of not only the Mediapro Group, but they have been world leaders in the audiovisual sector.”

Roures sighs for the new LaLiga contract

Movistar and Dazn have the broadcasting rights for LaLiga, but this season it is key to know who will be in charge of the technical signal for the matches, since this is the last year in which Mediapro has a contract.

Southwind Group’s desire was to sign an agreement with Roures, which would have sold them 5% of Mediapro’s shares. But the Catalan producer was against signing a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from dedicating himself to television production in the future in exchange for a substantial settlement.

Roures, after the dismissal, is free hand and foot to aspire to keep the LaLiga technical contract for the coming seasons. The producer, close to Javier Tebas, is aware of the weight of the aforementioned contract in Mediapro, since in 2021 a study by the rating agency Moody’s assured that 30% of the company’s Ebitda came from its league business.

“Mediapro’s credit quality is limited by the uncertainties surrounding the renewal of the contract with LaLiga for the commercialization of the broadcasting rights of Spanish football, which expires in the 2023-2024 season,” the rating agency said. Mediapro, on the other hand, maintains the exploitation of LaLiga rights internationally until 2027.

Roures explains

Roures stated in RAC1 after his departure that he refused to sign the statement made by the company “because it said that I was ‘disassociating myself’ when in reality it was the majority partner who had decided to take responsibility away from me.”

The producer reported on the Catalan radio station that Tatxo Benet prevented him from saying goodbye to the Mediapro workers from your corporate email, which is why you did it this weekend from your personal email.

Sources close to the producer assure that Roures’ future will involve, among other things, editing the Público newspaper through the company Display Conectors, making films and documentaries (he plans to record one on the ‘Villarjo case’) and his work in the instrumental company Orpheus Media, guarantor of the Board of Directors of the Barcelona Football Club and partner of the culé team in Barça Studios.

In his new stage he could be accompanied by his daughter Teia Roures, who worked in the Project Management area of ​​Mediapro and appears as representative of the Canal Red publishing company that was launched this year by former vice president Pablo Iglesias.

There will be no exodus after the break between Roures and Benet

Mediapro tried this Friday to establish that there will be no disbandment of managers by ensuring that “all of them are fully committed to the future of the group and work tirelessly to satisfy their clients and provide value to shareholders.”

Benet, who breaks up with his close friend since they worked at TV3 in the eighties, affirms that “Mediapro has become a great company, a resilient company that has shown that it has always known how to overcome any new challenge.”

“The entire management team and the 7,000 people who work in the group will continue to do so with the same efficiency, effectiveness and dedication. The entire management team and its CEO are fully aligned with the group’s shareholder partners, Southwind and WPP, with whom we share the company’s future project seamlessly,” he adds.

Benet affirms that “there is not, in this sense, the slightest disagreement. In this sense, not only have there been no discrepancies in the future model, but there has not been the slightest change either in the founding project or in the values ​​that the group represents. And there will not be them while this management team is here, because it is this management team that has put them into practice for thirty years and because our shareholders share our project and our values, which have been key to when valuing your investment in Mediapro. Nobody has changed them nor does anyone want to change them.

And about his friend he affirms that “the void that Jaume leaves in the group is immense. And from a personal point of view I will greatly miss these wonderful decades of working together, side by side, during which we have collaborated to build the Mediapro Group and convert it in what it is. But this would not have been possible without the people who work in the group, the best professionals.”

“The inspiration and legacy that Jaume leaves us are an irreplaceable part of Grup Mediapro’s DNA and will always remain present in the work of this company, reminding us that people come first, that we must never give up on our ideas and dreams, that working as Jaume has done it, we will continue to achieve everything we pursue, no matter how difficult it may seem, without fear being a brake on what talent and effort set as our goal,” he adds.

Benet recalls that Mediapro will celebrate 30 years of life “and everyone, absolutely everyone, shareholders, CEO, management team and all the people who make up the group are aligned and committed to living another thirty years, at least, with the same success as until now we have had.”