On the eve of its public offering, Spanish media empire Grupo Prisa has announced two key appointments.
Jaime Polanco Soutullo has been appointed general director of Prisa for North America, a strategic post for further developing Prisa's activities in the US Spanish-speaking market. Polanco Soutullo will be headquartered in New York and will maintain his position simultaneously as CEO of Gran Via Musical, Prisa's music arm.
Back in Spain, Mario Tascon has been recruited away from competing newspaper El Mundo to head Prisa's Internet subsidiary Prisa.com and the on-line edition of daily El Pais. Tascon brings eight of his professional staff with him, leaving a significant hole in El Mundo's personnel.
Today is the first day of the public tender on 20% of Prisa's shares, which begin trading on June 28 after the maximum share price is fixed on June 16. Provisional details suggested that some 20-25% of the shares would be open to individual investors, 10-15% to national institutions, and between 60-65% to international investors.
Meanwhile, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, which is a direct competitor of Prisa in several market sectors including pay-TV, last week said that it will not float its media division Telefonica Media until it has finished a series of planned Latin American acquisitions. Francesco de Ines, investor relations spokesman at Telefonica, said on Friday: "it's not the proper moment to launch. The most important point is that we go on settling all media assets in Latin America". De Ines also confirmed that the absorption of Endemol will be completed before Telefonica Media comes to market.