InterMedia Merges Spanish Media, Forms Hemisphere

by , Jan 23, 2013, 6:11 PM
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In a move that may portend more M&A activity in Spanish-language media, InterMedia is merging its Spanish-language media properties, including Cinelatino, WAPA America, and WAPA TV, with Azteca Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company created by investor Gabriel Brener in 2011.

The merged entities will form a new company called Hemisphere Media Group, headquartered in Miami. Hemisphere will be a publicly traded company, owned 73% by InterMedia and 27% by shareholders of the Azteca special-purpose acquisition company.
 
According to InterMedia, the transaction, valued at around $400 million, will position the companies to better serve the growing U.S. Hispanic population by creating a pure-play Hispanic TV and cable network.

Cinelatino, which owns a large library of current Spanish-language movies, currently has 12 million subscribers across the Americas, including the U.S. WAPA America has 5 million subscribers across the U.S., including Puerto Rico. WAPA TV, the highest-rated broadcast network in Puerto Rico, creates about 60 hours of Spanish-language content per week.
 
The new company will be headed by CEO Alan Sokol, currently a partner at InterMedia. He previously served as COO at Telemundo.
 
This is the second big deal for InterMedia in as many months. In November 2012, the company announced that it would merge InterMedia Outdoors Holdings -- which owns the Sportsman Channel and also publishes 15 outdoor enthusiast magazines through InterMedia Outdoors Inc. -- with the Outdoor Channel, in a deal valued at $200 million. InterMedia claims that the merged entities reach 30 million cable households and 23 million readers per month.

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