Grupo Prisa (Spain)

Grupo Prisa is the world's biggest Hispanic language mediaowner, with broad interests across print media and radio in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and other Latin American markets. Prisa's best known brand is El Pais, Spain's best-selling quality newspaper by far and a long-established champion of civil liberties. Other titles include business paper Cinco Dias and sports daily As. Other subsidiaries include the international educational publisher Santillana, and radio group Cadena SER, which operates in Latin America as well as Spain. Key stations include Cadena SER, Los 40 and W. However, until recently, Prisa's biggest business by revenues was leading Spanish pay-TV service Digital+, later known as Canal+. It sold that business at a huge loss to partner Telefonica in 2015 to form what is now Movistar+. Prisa has steadily strengthened its domestic portfolio to stay ahead of competitors, and its move into international markets, mainly in Latin America, has been similarly cautious but methodical. However Prisa's financial stability was badly dented in 2008 by an ill-fated attempt to restructure its cable and TV businesses, then only part-owned. It accumulated huge debts in the process of buying out other shareholders just as Spain's prolonged recession caused stock market values to plunge. As a result Prisa was forced to sell most of those assets. Group founder Jesus de Polanco died in 2007, but his son Manuel Polanco is deputy chairman. The Polanco family remains a major minority shareholder in the group. Juan Luis Cebrian was the founding editor of El Pais, and subsequently the group's long-time CEO. He is now chairman, with Jose Luis Sainz as group CEO. Group revenues were €1.4bn in 2015, and the company reported a modest profit after a massive €2bn loss the year before.

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Capsule checked 10th February 2018

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