Peru’s ATV seeks partner

Topper Abad in tricky situation

MIAMI — Julio Vera Abad is urgently seeking a partner for Peruvian broadcaster ATV (Canal 9).

Two years ago, his father Julio Vera Gutierrez tried to sell ATV, only to be stymied by his family. Julio Vera Abad forcibly took over from his father last year, but he now needs cash to revitalize the ailing channel, an insider reports.

Situation is tricky for Vera Abad, as he is reportedly in debt to Miami-based programming broker Angel Gonzalez, who may have a say over any partnership.

Peruvian law forbids foreign majority-ownership of TV, yet the Cisneros Group of Venezuela and Mexico’s TV Azteca — both of which have taken stakes in several Latino broadcasters — are being mentioned as possible investors.

ATV carved a niche in the early 1990s as an upmarket web, with socially-conscious novelas and decent ratings. But as competition for Peru’s fast-growing ad pie has heated up, ATV has been unable to maintain momentum.

Late last year, the web suffered a huge blow when its sales team, under Jean-Pierre Dewerpe, defected to Genaro Delgado Parker’s start-up Red Global (Canal 13). Delgado has been spending big to turn Global into a new force, following his separation from brother Manuel, who owns Panamericana (Canal 5).

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