Grupo Prisa, Spain´s largest media group that is present in 24 countries (including an 80% holding in GLR in the U.S. and many Latin American countries) held its 2008 stockholder meeting last Friday in Madrid.
One of the main issues facing Prisa is its heavy debt load of 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion). Juan Luis Cebrian, who was named President of Prisa’s Executive Committee, noted that despite the crisis Prisa’s Ebitda (Earnings before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization) will grow by 20% to 934 million euros this year. He added that Prisa is in advanced conversations with a group led by French conglomerate Vivendi and Spain telco Telefonica to sell its satellite TV unit Digital+. Cebrian added that Prisa will concentrate on the production of audiovisual content. Pisa is also talking to potential investors including U.S. private equity houses KKR and Hicks, Muse and Partners.
In 2009, Prisa expects to reduce its operative expenses by 5%. Salaries of executives who earn more than 80.000 euros ($104,000) will be frozen. At the same time Prisa announced that it will try to maintain head count in the 24 countries it operates, despite the current economic circumstances and the need to cut costs.
Prisa’s vast holding include Spain’s largest paid daily El Pais and several TV and radio assets as well as educational book publishing group Santillana. Prisa is also a majority investor in Grupo Latino de Radio.