Spain’s Prisa Divests to Pay Down Debt

Spain’s’ media group Grupo Prisa, the owner of Grupo Latino de Radio and other media assets in Latin America and the US Hispanic market, last week raised cash through two divestitures (read below). In late August Prisa had sold 4.5% of its shares, which were held by Prisa itself, to US merchant bank Talos Partners.

Prisa reached an agreement to sell 25% of publishing unit Grupo Santillana Ediciones to private equity firm DLJ South American Partners for $362 million, part of an effort to sell assets to lower debt. Prisa will own the remaining 75%.

Prisa said the deal values Santillana at $1.45 billion. The agreement also calls for a pact to be set up to manage the publishing company. No additional details were disclosed.

Prisa, which is struggling with a debt load of EUR5 billion (aprox. $7.5 billion), is seeking to sell stakes in key assets to improve its finances at a time when the global media industry is facing unprecedented challenges.

Santillana, the leading provider of text books in Spain and Latin America, is one of Prisa's most profitable units, contributing steady cashflow amid a drop in advertising revenue that is hitting some of its other businesses.

DLJ South American Partners  is controlled by Credit Suisse's Alternative Investment arm and targets investment opportunities in Latin America, with a focus on Argentina, Brazil and Chile  The fund together with other investors, created Arcos Dorados B.V. to acquire the master franchise of McDonald's restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean. DLJ SAP also acquired Fispal, the largest promoter of food and beverage trade shows in Brazil, and became the largest shareholder of EBEC, a leading educational company in Brazil.


Sale
of a stake in Portuguese media company

Separately Prisa announced the sale of a 29.69 percent of its Portuguese media arm Media Capital to local investment fund Ongoing Strategy Investments in a deal worth about 135 million euros ($198 million).

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