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El Sitio, IAMP to Create 1st Public Latino Content Firm

October 31, 2000|LEE ROMNEY

Spanish- and Portuguese-language Internet portal El Sitio will merge with Ibero American Media Partners, the parent of Cisneros Television Group, to form the first publicly traded independent content company to serve the Latino market, the entities said Monday.

The new company, Claxson Interactive Group (CIG) will be based in Miami and brings pay-television, broadcast radio and television and Internet properties under one roof.

Ibero, or IAMP, is jointly owned by U.S. private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. and Venezuelan media giant Cisneros Group of Cos. Other subsidiaries include television and radio stations in Chile and the Caribbean.

El Sitio, based in Buenos Aires, operates country-specific Spanish- and Portuguese-language portals in seven Latin American countries, as well as a portal targeting U.S. Spanish speakers.

"Claxson will have access to valuable content that we own," said El Sitio Chairman and Co-founder Roberto Vivo, who will become chairman and chief executive of Claxson. The combined properties will offer one-stop shopping for advertisers and reduce costs, he added.

Claxson will be 37% held by Venezuela's Cisneros Group, 29% by Hicks, Muse and 34% by current shareholders of El Sitio. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2001.

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