MADRID, Jan 28 (Reuters) - French media group Vivendi is seeking approval from the Spanish government to raise its stake in Prisa, owner of the influential El Pais newspaper, to 20%, online news provider El Confidencial reported on Thursday.
Vivendi has also disclosed its intention to Prisa’s board, El Confidencial added, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
In a bid to protect nationally important listed companies, Madrid has passed a bill giving the government the power to block acquisitions by foreign companies.
Vivendi, controlled by French businessman Vincent Bollore, has acquired 9.9% in Prisa in two steps over the past seven days.
Prisa, which is struggling with a huge debt pile, is controlled by activist fund Amber Capital, led by French investor Joseph Oughourlian.
Spokesmen for Vivendi and Prisa declined to comment. (Reporting by Inti Landauro, Mathieu Rosemain and Emma Pinedo. Editing by Mark Potter)