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Disney eyes Argentine net

Hicks, Muse, Liberty, Globo, Kirch, others also in the Azul hunt

BUENOS AIRES — The Walt Disney Co. is chasing a controlling stake in Argentinean broadcaster Azul Television, Disney execs here and in Miami have confirmed.

But four other potential investors, including two U.S. outfits, have made better offers for the No. 3 broadcaster, according to sources close to the talks.

Up for grabs is 51% of Azul, which J.P. Morgan Chase purchased in August for $67.5 million from Australia’s Prime Television.

Interested buyers reportedly include Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and Liberty Media, both of which are invested in pay TV programming and distribution in Argentina and the region.

Brazil’s O Globo, Germany’s Kirch, Spain’s El Correo and Venezuela’s Cisneros Group have also been tipped as possible buyers in local news reports.

(Mary Sutter in Miami contributed to this report.)

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