Family spat troubles Televisa dogged by family tiff

Shareholder infighting breaks out

MIAMI — Days after Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga Jean seemed to have solved two years of ownership troubles by closing a debt-for-equity swap, shareholder infighting has broken out all over again.

Azcarraga Jean’s eldest half-sister, Alessandra Azcarraga, has hired two U.S. law firms to help her stake a claim to a substantial quantity of voting stock in the Mexican media giant.

The dispute poses a direct challenge to Azcarraga Jean, who currently claims control of 51% of the voting shares — a stake believed to include the shares of Alessandra and her two sisters.

News comes just four days after a Mexican venture capital firm took a 24% stake in Televisa’s Televicentro holding company, a move that seemed to close the chapter on Azcarraga Jean’s quest to consolidate his hold on Televisa (Daily Variety, May 7.)

Alessandra Azcarraga hired Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker of Los Angeles and Dewey Ballantine of New York to help her pursue her claim to a portion of Televicentro.

The dispute comes two years after the death of media mogul Emilio Azcarraga Milmo, who reportedly divided his Televicentro shares six ways — between his son, three daughters, fourth wife and mistress.

The wife, Paula Cussi, sold out in 1997, but the shareholding of the mistress, Adriana Abascal, is uncertain; last fall, Abascal told several media that she was in dispute with Azcarraga Jean over her stake in Televicentro.