Exec will relocate to Gotham, IPO awaited

MADRID — Jaime Polanco has been named CEO North America of Spain’s Prisa Group.

Prisa announced the appointment Friday, at the height of its quiet period before a June 28 flotation of 20% of its shares.

Already managing director of Prisa’s music publishing division Gran Via Musical, Polanco’s new responsibilities could signal a watershed in the future of press and media empire Prisa.

Its IPO could be the biggest of any company in Spanish history, valuing Prisa at between $3.5 billion and $4.3 billion.

Polanco’s posting, which will see him relocate to New York, now underlines Prisa’s newest ambition of establishing itself on a world stage.

It is also one more step in a seemingly amiable redistribution of power at Prisa away from Jesus de Polanco, the founder and owner of Prisa, toward his nephews Javier Diez de Polanco, CEO of Sogecable, Jaime Polanco, and Juan Luis Cebrian, who has Prisa’s publishing future since the launch of “El Pais” in 1976.

Jaime Polanco’s most immediate task will be to consolidate Muxxic Latina, a joint venture between GVM and the Universal Music Group, as the world’s premier Spanish-lingo record label.

But the 40-year-old Polanco, a business administration graduate from New York University, is unlikely to limit himself to music and will look to open up a wide range of initiatives. These may well include film and TV production with strategic partners in the U.S.

“Latino culture is no longer a minority taste in the U.S.,” Polanco told Daily Variety in March. “There are huge opportunities for us in the U.S.,” he added.

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