Telefonica plans media fund

Spanish company targets Latin America

MIAMI — Spanish telco colossus Telefonica has announced a plan to establish a $1 billion fund for investments in the telecommunication, media and Internet sectors.

The fund is described as global, but can be expected to target Latin America, where the company already has committed billions of dollars into telephone and/or cable operations.

Telefonica will commit $250 million to the fund, diversified conglom Onex Corp. of Canada will pony up $150 million, and further coin will be sought with the help of investment bankers Donaldson, Lufkin & Jeanrette.

The fund likely will compete with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst’s $1 billion fund, raised last year for Latino media investments, and a separate media money pool of $500 million that Hicks, Muse operates with Venezuela’s Cisneros Group.

Management will include top U.S. and European bankers, among them Laurence Grafstein, former telecom chief at Credit Suisse First Boston, and Geneva-based mergers and acquisitions specialist Mohammed Amersi of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue.

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