Prisa initiated last week the signing process aimed at refinancing with its 35 banks, including those present in a syndicated loan since 2006, and holders of a bridging loan and subordinated debt, signed in 2007, as well as those holding bilateral loans.
It is expected that this process will be successfully concluded in the coming days, once the foreign creditor banks give the go ahead, which has not been formalized yet due to the holidays.
The signing of this process triggers the conversion of warrants by Timon, Prisa’s reference shareholder, Martin Franklin and Nicolas Berggruen, who will subscribe to new shares amounting to 150 million (one hundred and fifty million) euros, at a price of two euros per share.
The Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO of PRISA, Juan Luis Cebrián, welcomed the agreement and commended the efforts by the creditor banks and business teams, led by the Deputy CEO, Fernando Abril Martorell. He added: “Despite the difficult times we live in, in the midst of an unprecedented global financial crisis and the profound changes in the market prompted by new technologies, the Group’s results continue and will continue to demonstrate the strength of all our businesses and our ability to continue generating profits.”
One year ago Prisa announced a financial restructuring that included a number of operations to incorporate business partners and raise capital through the sale of minority stakes in some companies and the entry of new shareholders into the structure.
DLJ South American Partners acquired 25% of Santillana; Telefonica and Mediaset España each acquired 22% of Digital+; and Miguel Pais do Amaral acquired 10% of Media Capital. There was also the sale of TV channel Cuatro to Telecinco in exchange for 17.3% of the resulting new TV company. Capital inflows came through an investment vehicle called Liberty Acquisition Holdings Corp. The result of these operations was a cash inflow of nearly 2,000 million euros for Prisa. Liberty Acquisition Holdings, the New York City based private equity fund bought in 2010 a 70% stake of Prisa. The announcement last year that Spain’s Prisa is reducing an additional 18% of its workforce (or 2,500 employees) is a clear sign that Liberty Acquisition Holdings is taking charge.