Televisa’s share sale nets $1.3 bil

Mexican co. hoped to raise $950 mil, stock hits $67.50

MEXICO CITY — Strong demand allowed Mexican media conglom Televisa to sell off an additional 2.5 million shares Wednesday in a $1.3 billion sale.

Televicentro, the debt-ridden holding company that owns 45% of the Mexican web, originally intended to sell abroad nearly 14 million American depository receipts, or 9.1%, of Televisa.

However, enthusiastic investors met by chairman Emilio Azcarraga Jean during a U.S. and European tour this month led Televisa to increase that number to 16.5 million, or 10.7%, of the network.

The share price of $67.50, announced with the increased stake late on Tuesday, was regarded by some analysts as steep, coming close to Televisa stock’s historic high of $71 on the NYSE on Dec. 20.

Shares in the network subsequently dropped around $15 shortly after Christmas as fears over higher U.S. interest rates led Latin markets to wobble.

Biggest sale in years

The sale, the biggest in Mexico for more than six years, was originally aimed at raising $950 million. The deal will leave Televisa’s management structure unaffected.

Televicentro will use some of the coin to pay off $600 million to creditor banks. An additional $350 million is earmarked to buy back shares from a Credit Agricole trust fund.

Televicentro is owned by Azcarraga Jean, his cousin Alejandro Burillo and Mexico’s wealthiest entrepreneur, Carlos Slim, whose venture capital fund Sinca Inbursa holds 24% of the company.

Televisa remains Latin America’s only major media group yet to unveil an Internet project, though a major announcement is expected by the spring.

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