Hemisphere Media Group, the publicly traded pure-play Hispanic TV company, has acquired three Spanish language networks from Media World for $102.2 million.
As part of the all-cash deal which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter, Hemisphere picked up telenovela and series network Pasiones, which has about 3.8 million subscribers in the U.S. and 7.2 million subscribers in Latin America; Centroamerica TV, which features news, entertainment and soccer programming from Central America with over 3.3 million subscribers in the U.S.; and TV Dominicana, featuring news, entertainment and baseball programming from the Dominican Republic, with over 2.2 million subscribers in the U.S.
In a statement, Hemisphere said the assets are expected to generate about $12.2 million in cash flow in 2013, making the effective purchase price multiple of the deal about 8.4 times cash flow.
“We felt all these networks target audiences that are underserved by existing programming service options,” said Hemisphere CEO Alan Sokol in an interview. “These are fast growing and robust audiences and valuable audiences for advertisers.”
For example, Sokol said the population of Central American natives in the U.S. has increased 175% from 2000 to 2012, while the Dominican population rose by 105% in the same time frame.
“We love the growth story,” Sokol said. “We love the fact that these audiences don’t really have other programming options in the U.S.”
Hemisphere plans to add to the programming offerings at the networks, invest more in existing shows as well as beefing up marketing and sales efforts.
“We believe all of that will lead to higher viewing levels, higher advertising, improved distribution and growth as the market grows,” Sokol said.
Hemisphere Media was formed last year by InterMedia Partners to acquire underperforming programming assets.
The deal is expected to strengthen Hemisphere’s existing content portfolio of cable networks WAPA America and Cinelatino and broadcaster WAPA-TV, the No. 1 network in Puerto Rico
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to Hemisphere. Rothschild served as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis, LLP served as legal counsel to Media World.
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