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The successful takeover of La Sexta by Antena 3: pre- and post-merger factors

Ana M. Romero-Martínez (Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
María Concepción García-Gómez (Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Management Research

ISSN: 1536-5433

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the merger arranged in the audiovisual sector between Antena 3 and La Sexta, and specifically the pre- and post-merger factors. This study adopts a comprehensive approach for the analysis of the reasons behind this strategic decision and the role that structural and human integration and the decision on the right momentum and integration speed played in the merger success.


A single case study research method is used. This qualitative methodology provides richer data to understand complex transactions such as mergers and acquisitions (M&As). According to the data triangulation technique, two research methods were used, in-depth interviews and archival secondary data, including confidential reports and archival trade press.


The merger involving Antena 3’s takeover of La Sexta in October 2012 has been seen as one of the most successful operations ever undertaken in Spain’s audiovisual industry. The main motivation was to increase the organisation’s size to make it more competitive in the market, thus reducing costs, generating synergies and improving performance. Structural and human integration has provided the backbone for this success, all at a time marked by the global financial crisis and its knock-on effect on the downturn in the advertising market. Another of the key factors of success was that the changes in the organisational systems and processes were designed and partially implemented before the incorporation of La Sexta.

Practical implications

This work has highlighted the need for proper planning and a suitable choice of timing in M&A operations. Management should pay special attention to the integration of human and productive resources to generate synergies on the road to success.


This paper’s main contribution is to highlight an example of a successful M&A in the audiovisual sector in Spain by adopting a holistic perspective. While there are scarce studies in this industry, previous research on this topic is mostly quantitative and, moreover, the rate of success in M&A is quite low.



Romero-Martínez, A.M. and García-Gómez, M.C. (2017), "The successful takeover of La Sexta by Antena 3: pre- and post-merger factors", Management Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 47-64.



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