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Amber Capital buys 300,000 shares of Prisa and reaches 29.84% of the capital

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Amber Capital, the US investment fund founded and managed by Joseph Oughourlian, who is also a director and vice president of Rush, has bought 299,927 shares of the communication group and has increased its participation in the capital until 29,842% from the previous 29.80%.

Thus, Amber Capital is getting closer to overcoming the 30% limit which would force him to launch a bid over 100% of the capital. The fund already controls a portfolio of 211,474,843 Prisa titles, valued at some 281 million euros.

According to data provided to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Amber Capital purchased 95,000 shares at 1.35 euros on January 7, 134,927 shares at 1.33 euros on January 8 and another 70,000 at 1.33 euros on January 10. In total, he has invested some 400,000 euros.

Oughourlian founded Amber Capital in NY in November 2005. Previously, he had worked for the French investment bank Société Générale since 1994, first in Paris and after 1996 in New York. In 2001 he founded Amber fund with initial capital of SocGen and subsequently became independent of the gala entity.

Over the past few years, Amber Capital has increased its participation in Prisa with the objective of supporting the share price, which does not take off due to the capital increases what the group has had to do to reduce debt and face corporate operations as the 25% repurchase of Santillana, its educational subsidiary.

In addition, the other big problem is debt. Currently, the stock market value of Prisa does not exceed 1,000 million euros (943 million), a figure lower than your net debt, which amounted to 1,097 million euros at the end of the third quarter.

In the first nine months of the year, its revenues fell 3.2%, to 797 million euros. And the gross operating result (Ebitda) it was of 114.2 million euros, 19.8% less than in the same period of 2018.

The next objective of Prisa to reduce its high debt is the sale of Media Capital, your business in Portugal. In September, the Spanish group reported that the operation included a company value of 255 million euros and a sales amount of 170.6 million euros. The company expects to obtain authorization from the Portuguese regulator in the first quarter of 2020.

Although the transaction will involve an estimated accounting loss in the consolidated accounts, additional to that reflected in the results of the third quarter, of approximately 54.3 million euros, the funds generated will go to amortize the group's debt and accelerate the deleveraging plan of society.

The social capital of Prisa is very distributed. Telefonica controls 9.44%, the British bank HSBC 9.1%, followed by the Polanco family (7.6%), the sheikh Al Thani from Qatar (5.1%), Santander Bank (4.1%), Carlos Slim (4.3%), Carlos Fernandez (4%), the fund Melqart AM (3.2%) and the fund Polygon (one%).

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