TV Azteca positions for an IPO

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s No. 2 broadcaster on Monday announced plans for a worldwide initial public offering.

In a statement, TV Azteca said it had registered with Securities & Exchange Commission to offer American Depository Shares (ADS) that it anticipates will be priced between $15 and $17 for an aggregate of $600 million to $680 million. Approximately 93% of the shares are being sold by minority shareholders, with the rest by the company to be used for general corporate shareholders. Chairman and majority shareholder Ricardo Salinas Pliego is not selling any shares.

Bear Stearns is leading the offering outside Mexico. Banco Inbursa and Grupo Financiero Serfin are handling it within Mexico.

The press release did not specify what percentage of shares will be sold, but local press reports have indicated that the offering will represent roughly 30% of the shares.

The minority shareholders are believed to be co-founders Moises Saba and his father, Alberto, who together own 22% of the company. Rumors were circulating in June that a rift had developed between the Sabas and Salinas Pliego, which TV Azteca denied. A well-placed industry source said last week Moises Saba will stay on as an executive.

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