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French company ups stake in Spain's Unipublic from 49 per cent to 100 per cent...

Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have taken full control of Unipublic, the Spanish company that owns the Vuelta a España.

ASO had owned 49 per cent of Unipublic since 2008, buying that stake from Antena 3 Television, last year renamed Atresmedia Corporación.

According to reports in the Spanish press last week, Atresmedia’s accounts for 2013 revealed that it had sold its 51 per cent stake to ASO. That news has now been confirmed by Unipublic’s managing director, Javier Guillén.

Quoted on the website Ciclismo a Fondo, he said that ASO taking full control of Unipublic was in line with a “road map” that had been drawn up at the time it acquired its original shareholding in 2008.

He added that ASO was committed to preserving the Vuelta’s Spanish character.

Last month both ASO and Giro d’Italia owners RCS Media Sport dismissed speculation that the French company was in talks to buy the Italian business’s cycling properties, which also include Milan-San Remo, Tirreno Adriatico and il Lombardia.

Besides the Tour de France, ASO itself also owns races including Paris-Nice, the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, and Paris-Tours.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.