Spanish Media Giant Prisa Struggles to Restructure $3.9 Billion in Debt



MADRID -- A month after Spanish media group Prisa said it was looking to reach a deal with all of its creditors to restructure $3.9 billion (3 billion euros) in debt, reports suggest that it continues to struggle to reach an agreement and is looking at its alternatives.

According to Bloomberg News, sources close to the negotiations said Prisa is trying to find a way to restructure the debt without having unanimous agreement from all creditors. In June, Prisa said it had reached an accord with creditors holding 72.9 percent of its debt. It also secured a new loan worth $104 million.

Per a 2011 reform to Spanish bankruptcy law, if Prisa is able to agree with creditors holding at least 75 percent of the debt, it can force dissenters to accept a deal. Bloomberg said that the creditors still not on board hail from Britain, Germany and Portugal.

The news followed a report by the Wall Street Journal late last week that Prisa, whose stock trades on the New York and Madrid stock exchanges, was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. The company has been mired in debt for several years due to a decline in advertising revenue and the continuing recession in Spain.

The crown jewels of Prisa's media empire include newspaper El Pais and Digital+, Spain's largest pay TV network.

Prisa’s stock price fell around 10 percent on Friday in Spain after the Journal report. The company did not comment on the report.

Prisa runs a vast media empire throughout 22 countries that covers radio, newspapers, television and other publishing assets. Last summer, it launched the Spanish version of the Huffington Post.

But the company has lost money for the past three years. Selling Digital+ was the company's plan to stave off its creditors, but it has yet to find a buyer.

 

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