Radio Centro may delist

Move follows Chancellor merger

MEXICO CITY — After a highly anticipated merger with Chancellor Media fell apart last year, Mexican radio broadcaster Grupo Radio Centro may now delist from the New York and Mexican stock exchanges.

Radio Centro said last week that the Aguirre family, its controlling shareholders, are considering buying out all or part of the publicly traded shares in the company, confirming market rumors.

Bear Stearns analyst Christopher Recouso maintains a delisting would likely hurt minority shareholders. Many had already sold out last year, angry over the proposed dilution under the Chancellor accord, announced in July.

With the stock sagging, management could now be aiming to take the company private on the cheap to prepare it for an eventual sale, Recouso said.

Radio Centro owns or operates 15 stations, 13 in Mexico City. Since Chancellor pulled out last October, Radio Centro hasn’t come up with a long-term strategy to move beyond its core market in the capital or to enter the U.S. Hispanic market, as it has been promising for several years, Recouso said.

The company’s market share had slipped 1%-2%, he recently acknowledged to analysts. Last year revenue plunged 26% to $63.5 million.