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What: Shares of Hemisphere Media Group (NASDAQ:HMTV) were heading to the stratosphere today, gaining as much 14% and finishing up 6% after announcing the acquisition of three Spanish-language stations.
So what: The purchase was a big move for the parent of Cine Latino, which will pay out $102.2 million in cash to Media World for the networks Pasiones, Centroamerica TV, and TV Dominicana. Pasiones reaches an audience of 10.8 million subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America, while Centroamerica TV and TV Dominicana hit 3.3 million and 2.2 million subscribers, respectively. CEO Alan Sokol said, "We are thrilled to be bringing the three networks to our world-class portfolio" as the move gives Hemisphere ownership of five leading U.S. Hispanic cable networks, among other assets.
Now what: Hemisphere bills itself as the only publicly traded pure-play U.S. media company targeting the high-growth Hispanic TV/cable networks business. Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in this country, and many are avid television watchers. Given that growth rate, not only does Hemisphere's purchase today look like a smart move but it also may be a good time to invest in the company. In addition to giving it greater reach, the deal also adds synergies as Sokol said, "We believe that we can add significant value to these channels through improved programming, and these networks will expand cross-selling opportunities in the U.S."
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