Media group Planeta buys Colombian newspaper

1st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 August 2007, BOGOTA, Colombia - Spanish media group Planeta has acquired a majority stake in Colombia's largest and most influential newspaper, El Tiempo, in an investment the family-owned daily says it sought to be able to expand regionally.

1 August 2007

BOGOTA, Colombia - Spanish media group Planeta has acquired a majority stake in Colombia's largest and most influential newspaper, El Tiempo, in an investment the family-owned daily says it sought to be able to expand regionally.

Grupo Planeta paid more than US$150 million (EUR 110 million), an El Tiempo executive who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Wednesday. The executive was not authorized to disclose the amount.

Planeta bought a 55 percent stake in the Casa Editorial El Tiempo newspaper company, which includes its online properties and publishing house, and a 40 percent stake in its City TV channel.

Under terms of the deal, El Tiempo will maintain editorial independence through a nine-member "Founders Board," six members of which will be chosen by the current owners, the Santos family. The board will name the executives responsible for opinion and content of the company's media properties, El Tiempo said.

The newspaper _ currently Colombia's only nationally circulated daily _ has been in the hands since 1916 of the politically influential Santos family, which counts a former president and the current vice president and defense minister among its members.

Among bidders for the newspaper company were the Argentine paper Clarin and the Spanish publishing group Promotora de Informaciones SA, or Prisa, which owns the El Pais newspaper, according to the El Tiempo executive.

"We've seen a lot of opportunity in other countries and in order to be successful we needed a strategic partner," said Luis Fernando Santos, the company's president, who will keep his job along with other top El Tiempo officials.

The next step, said Santos, is "to go out and implement a strategy of international expansion."

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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