Prisa Group’s revenues in the Americas grew by 11.4% in the first quarter. The media group’s operations in U.S. and Latin American markets netted revenues of US$ 220.5 million in the first quarter of 2010, an 11.4% increase over the US$ 197.93 million posted in the same quarter last year, according to information submitted by the group to Spanish exchange authorities.
Book sales generated by the Santillana group and ad revenue from Grupo Latino de Radio, the company’s radio operations group, played a significant role in Prisa´s income growth. Santillana’s sales in markets like Brazil and Peru grew more than 20% for the quarter, with Brazil already accounting for 42% of Prisa’s overall book sales. In the case of the radio group, which has stations all throughout the Americas, advertising revenue grew 29.5% to US$ 26.77 million, and its contribution to group EBITDA amounted to US$ 3.15 million.
Among its transactions in American markets during the first quarter of 2010, Prisa closed on the purchase of 6.8% of V-me Media Inc., a TV company targeting the U.S. Hispanic market. With this acquisition, Prisa’s interest in the company now amounts to 18.8%.
The Prisa group is currently in the midst of a financial reorganization to cope with its debt of approximately US$ 6.3 billion. As part of this process, Prisa sold 25% of its Santillana publishing group during the first quarter to venture capital firm DLJ South American Partners LP, in a deal worth US$ 351 million.
The Spanish group also reached an agreement with American investment group Liberty Acquisition Holdings Corp. to acquire over a 50% stake in Prisa, for approximately US$ 900 million. This operation is currently underway, but has not yet received final approval from shareholders of both companies, and stock market and antitrust authorities.