Spain's Planeta Buys Majority Stake in Colombia's El Tiempo


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Grupo Planeta SA

Spain's Planeta Buys Majority Stake in Colombia's El Tiempo

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

Friday, August 3, 2007

Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Grupo Planeta SA, a Spanish publishing group, bought a controlling stake in Colombian media group Casa Editorial El Tiempo for an undisclosed sum to expand in Latin America's second-fastest growing economy.

Planeta acquired 55 percent of Casa Editorial, owner of Colombia's biggest newspaper and a TV channel covering capital Bogota's metropolitan area, the El Tiempo newspaper said in an editorial today. Planeta, based in Barcelona, Spain, and the Santos family, who owned the group since El Tiempo was founded in 1911, will set up a board of founders to preserve the independence of editorial content, the newspaper said.

``We don't want to see this as a takeover or a simple financial transaction but as a broad strategic alliance that will help us be part of the ongoing media globalization drive,'' the editorial said.

Media companies are stepping up purchases to reach new markets and profit from the fastest global expansion in about a decade. This week, News Corp. agreed to buy Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, for $5.2 billion.

As part of the accord, Planeta will buy 40 percent of CityTV channel, and keep Luis Fernando Santos as president of the group, known as CEET, Dinero magazine reported on its on-line edition.

El Tiempo is Colombia's only national daily newspaper.

To contact the reporter on this story: Guillermo Parra-Bernal in Sao Paulo at at gparra@bloomberg.net

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