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January 24, 2013

Intermedia Partners, Azteca Acquisition Corp, Cine Latino and Intermedia Espanol Merge in a $400 million Deal
By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

The Hispanic population in the United States is the largest minority segment and the growth it is experiencing will dictate the economy of the country. Latinos are an important part of any business that wants to succeed and the persistent growth of their population dictates them being included in any business strategy. Hispanic media have been ahead of the curve in accepting this population and targeting it as reliable source of revenue for more than 20 years. The merger between Intermedia (News - Alert) Partners, Azteca Acquisition Corp, Cine Latino and Intermedia Español – which includes WAPA America and WAPA TV known as WAPA will create a new company called Hemisphere Media Group Inc.

This merger is important in that it brings several Hispanic segments together. Although Spanish is the language spoken by most Central and South Americans, they have distinct cultures. A show that is popular in Mexico is not guaranteed to make it in El Salvador and conversely, the millions of Hispanics that reside in the United States come from all over the regions.

Cinelatino, WAPA America and WAPA TV have a combined 17 million subscribers across the U.S, Latin America and Canada. The difference of the segments can be seen between these two companies. While WAPA caters to the Puerto Rican and Caribbean Hispanic living in the U.S., Cinelatino has it subscribers across the U.S., Latin America and Canada.

 “The combination of these two companies creates a powerful new presence in Hispanic media. Cinelatino has emerged as the leading Spanish-language movie channel and the number two rated U.S. Hispanic cable network overall. WAPA TV has been the highest-rated television network in Puerto Rico for four consecutive years and WAPA America is the only network focused specifically on Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean Hispanics throughout the States,” said Alan J. Sokol, Senior Partner of InterMedia, who will become CEO of Hemisphere.

The new company will be based in Miami and under the agreement of the merger Azteca, Cinelatino, and WAPA will be an indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Hemisphere. The new company will be listing Class A common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

This merger is no bout preparing for the eventual drive by the world’s richest man Carlos Slim Helú and his media empire consisting of Grupo Televisa SAB and TV Azteca SAB. Right now one in six Americans is a Hispanic and by 2050 they will account for 30 percent of the total population making up more than 132 million people. The competition for this market is sure to heat up as more companies realize the huge potential.

Companies that are interested in the Latin American telecom market should check out the LatinComm Conference and Expo. To be held from January 30 to February 1 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida, the event will give attendees the tools to create a Latin American business strategy and develop strategic partnerships in the region. For more information on the event, click here.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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