Avila to take control of America

80% stake in b'caster to be sold to local sports p'gramming magnate

BUENOS AIRES — Carlos Avila, a local sports programming magnate, is expected to sign a definitive agreement by the end of the month with businessman Eduardo Eurnekian to buy an 80%-stake in America TV, Argentina’s smallest privately-owned broadcaster.

Under the deal, worth around $150 million, Avila will take over as president of the channel, while Eurnekian will retain influence of America’s news output.

The sale will allow Eurnekian to concentrate on his core business of managing Argentina’s airports, where he is currently fighting a messy battle with U.S.-backed investment fund Exxel. According to market sources, he is also negotiating the sale of his five radio stations to a consortium formed by the Mexican CIE group and local businessman Daniel Grinbank.

For Avila, the deal finally gives him a broadcaster of his own, after producing sports content for all the local terrestrial and cable channels. It also cements his role as a leading media player in Argentina, having risen from nowhere just 15 years ago.

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