Azcarraga’s Televisa hold bolstered

Now owns 54%; operations unaffected

MEXICO CITY– Televisa topper Emilio Azcarraga has strengthened his grip on the media conglom with the pullout of his cousin Alejandro Burrillo from holding company Televicentro.

A sale of Burrillo’s 25% stake in privately held Televicentro was rumored to be in the works since October, when Burrillo, with whom Azcarraga has had a difficult relationship, lost a boardroom battle and ankled his posts as Televisa’s prexy of international affairs and head of the soccer committee.

The deal will have no impact on Televisa’s operations. Under the agreement announced Monday, Televisa chairman and CEO Azcarraga ups his stake in Televicentro to 54% from nearly 51%.

Fund increases share

Sinca Inbursa, the Mexican venture capital fund controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, has increased its share to 25%. The fund was brought in May 1999 and is contractually obliged to vote with Azcarraga. It was the first outsider to hold shares in Televicentro.

The remainder of Burrillo’s shares, nearly 21%, have been sold to new outside investors, the Fernandez and Aramburuzabala families, which own Mexican brewing giant Modelo.

As part of the deal, Televisa will sell back its outstanding 12% stake, valued at $126 million, in Pegaso, the wireless telco controlled by Burrillo. Burrillo will ante up $66 million in cash and the rest in Grupo Televisa voting shares.

Also as part of this accord, Burrillo will pay $25 million in cash to buy sports newspaper Ovaciones.

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