Prisa is looking for a property director in the Latin American market and has rejected formal buyout offers from El País and La Ser.

Prisa Group is looking for a proprietary director for the board of directors “with a good view of the Latin American market, where the group has 60% ebitda,” according to internal sources. In this move, the president of El País and Cadena Ser and the largest shareholder of the Amber Fund, Joseph Oughurliani, intends to fill the position left vacant on the board by the death of Miguel Barroso and designate a more international position. to the company. tips. Company sources indicate that they have not received a formal offer to buy their core media assets.

Considering that various media outlets have spread rumors that José Miguel Contreras will sit on the board in the vacant seat left by Miguel Barroso, the same sources explain that “it would be completely irregular for an employee of the company to occupy a position held by the property. Director, which is intended for those who are appointed as shareholders of the company by their consideration.

On February 2, publishers of El País and Cadena Ser appointed Contreras as content director of Prisa Media. Until now, he held the position of strategy advisor to the chairmanship of the media group.

“Certain media reports that there are clashes in the company to destabilize Prisa, this is nothing new. “It is strange that there is talk of a conflict between Jose Miguel Contreras and the company’s president and largest shareholder only a week after Contreras was appointed to such a relevant position at Priza,” said a company source.

They also call “unreal” rumors of a takeover bid for El País, Cadena SER, economic newspaper Cinco Días and sports newspaper As by a group of investors that Alconaba Group, led by audiovisual producer Andres Varela, is seeking. for Entrecanales. Grupo Alconaba owns more than 7% of Prisa after acquiring a stake held by Telefónica. Varela Entrecanales is the media group’s property director and has a long personal and professional relationship with Contrera.

“Maybe Varela Entrecanales or Alconaba Group are looking for investors for a possible operation, but it is absolutely unrealistic that they are going to buy Prisa media for 50 million euros and without taking on the publishers’ debt. “There have been approaches from media groups to buy some of Prisa’s media over the last three years, but there has been no formal offer,” said a source familiar with the operations.

“Now what was published about the offer of 50 million to Prisa Media when it failed [beneficio bruto de explotación] There are about 50 million of this division and the revenue exceeds 300 million, making it clear that this is only speculation information. Prisa Media’s valuation range is 10 times ebitda, this would be an offer commensurate with its value, the rest is pure speculation with no basis,” the company’s internal sources said.

In the latest reports presented by the media and education group, corresponding to the period from January to September 2023, the Prisa Media division received revenues of 301 million euros, while EBITDA was 21.1 million.

Now the company’s management aims to “refinance the company in the next six months”, for which a new capital increase of 100 million euros has been launched, which will allow “to give more security to the balance sheet”. In January last year, Prisa already carried out a similar operation through bonds convertible into 130 million shares, which won the support of all major shareholders, in order to respond to high debt demand in a high interest rate environment. With this operation, the French group Vivendi, Prisa’s second largest shareholder, reached 11% of the company.

Prisa sources claim that the French giant will also participate in the new capital increase. Vivendi has permission from the government to increase its stake in the Spanish media company to more than 10%. In 2020, amid a sharp fall in the stock market, CEO Pedro Sánchez approved a decree that required foreign companies that decided to acquire more than 10% of a Spanish company to obtain permission from the government. The rule has been consistently expanded over time.

Company sources add that the net debt/EBITDA ratio has decreased from 10 to 4.3 times and they are maintaining a debt reduction roadmap. In the third quarter of 2023, net debt reached 807 million euros. “The company was bad, now it is much better. He did not leave the hospital, but we got him out of the ICU,” says a Prisa source.

Source: El Diario

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