Spanish-language Chain ImpreMedia Buys Central Fla. Paper

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By: E&P Staff

Acquisitive Spanish-language newspaper chain ImpreMedia LLC added a new state to its holdings with Tuesday’s announcement that it has bought the weekly La Prensa in central Florida.

It was the fifth newspaper company bought by New York City-based ImpreMedia since it was created in January 2004 with the merger of the companies that owned El Diario La Prensa in New York, and La Opinion in Los Angeles. Last month, the company bought the San Francisco Bay area Spanish-language weekly El Mensajero.

No terms were disclosed for the purchase of La Prensa from its founders Manuel A. Toro and Dora Casanova de Toro. ImpreMedia said the purchase was made with proceeds from an $82.5 million credit facility with Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group L.P. — and Chairman and CEO John Paton made it clear the company intends to buy more in heavily Hispanic Florida.

“This is a first step for ImpreMedia into Florida and we hope to expand that presence soon,” he said.

La Prensa, based in Longwood, Fla., has a free distribution of 50,000 copies, ImpreMedia said. The 2005 E&P International Year Book lists its distribution at an estimated 35,000.

With this latest acquisition, ImpreMedia now publishes seven newspapers in six U.S. markets. It said it now has a weekly distribution of more than 1.9 million copies, including its household-delivered Domingo Network.

Paton said the chain has an “unmatched Spanish language newspaper footprint” in markets with 16 million Hispanics, or 37% of the U.S. Hispanic population.

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