3i invests in world leading Spanish radio group, to support global expansion

16 Apr 2008

3i, a world leading private equity firm, and Unión Radio, Spain’s leading Hispanic Radio Operator, today announce completion of an agreement, in which 3i invests for a significant minority stake in the company.

Unión Radio is valued at €1.3bn and owns 100% of Cadena Ser and Grupo Latino de Radio (GLR) which collectively controls more than 1,250 radio stations in Spain and Latin America. 3i has initially invested €125m, out of total commitment of €225m, via a private placement and capital increase.

This new partnership with 3i will support the group in its international expansion plans, especially in North American Hispanic markets and Latin America. 3i will work closely with the company to significantly grow its value with a view to a potential IPO in Spain or the US in the medium term.  3i Partner Maite Ballester and Director Javier Alonso will join Unión Radio’s board of directors.

Maite Ballester, 3i Partner, explained: “This agreement unites the strengths of both companies: 3i’s own experience and contacts in the global media sector and Unión Radio’s outstanding leadership, successful model and strong ambition. As an active minority partner, we look forward to helping drive forward the firm’s growth plans, especially in the US market. We believe, through this partnership, Unión Radio could become the undisputed leader in Hispanic radio worldwide.”

Unión Radio has more than 22 million listeners worldwide. It includes more than 1,250 fullly owned and associated radio stations across Spain, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina and Chile.  In Spain, Unión Radio includes Cadena Ser, clear leader by audience numbers in both spoken and music programmes (eg. 40 Principales, Cadena Dial, M-80, Radiolé and MáximaFM). In the USA, the company has two radio stations, operating in Los Angeles and Miami. In Miami, it is the leader of spoken word programmes for the Hispanic population.

In the Mexican market, Unión Radio operates through Radiopolis, which is 50% owned by Televisa and in which Unión Radio manages the programming. Radiopolis has three fundamental program lines: W Radio for the spoken word, Bésame and 40 Principales. These are also the global formats which are broadcast in Panama, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Radio Caracol, undisputed leader in Colombia and one of Latin America’s most prestigious radio stations are additional operators within Unión Radio Group in this market. Caracol produces and distributes up to ten program lines in different music and spoken radio formats. Since 2007, and through its subsidiary Grupo Latino de Radio (GLR), Unión Radio owns the main radio station in Chile, Iberoamerican Radio Chile, which operates from 140 of its own stations with eight radio formats, of which six are in the top ten of Chile’s national radio rankings.

3i has previously helped over 44 companies to IPO in the past 5 years.  3i’s global media sector team has invested in leading businesses such as VNU Media (online and print publications, UK), Boxer (leading digital TV broadcaster, Sweden), Nimbus Communications (TV, rights management and motion picture, India), Demand Media (next generation media company, US) and Pinewood Studios (largest film and TV facility in Europe, UK) amongst others.

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and a FTSE 100 company. We focus on Growth Capital, Buyouts, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, North America and Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

3i Growth Capital provides financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth. We invest between €20m and €250m in each business to help achieve growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.

Recent investments include Quintiles (US), Futaste (China), Venture Production Plc. (UK), Groupe Cair (France), UFO Moviez (India), DNA (Finland), ACR (Singapore) and Sten (Spain). Realisations include SeLoger.com (France), Alimak Hek (Sweden), Salamander Energy (UK), Williams Lea (UK); and Hayley Conference Centres (UK).

For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
email. rachel.richards@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3573