Businessweek Archives

Spicy Talk About Telemundo

Inside Wall Street


A funny thing happened to Telemundo Group (TLMD) after it emerged from 18 months in bankruptcy on Jan. 3: Its stock, then at 7, shot up to 155/8 by June 13. What's going on?

The cast of characters who are involved in the company may have a lot to do with the impressive climb. Telemundo is a Spanish-language TV network based in Miami that reaches 86% of U.S. Hispanic households. The person who guided Telemundo out of bankruptcy was Leon Black, who also runs Apollo Advisors, a "vulture fund" that scoops up depressed shares of distressed companies. Using Apollo's 15% stake, Black took over as chairman and crafted Telemundo's recovery. It's clear to many pros that Black isn't enthusiastic about running a TV network, so they reckon he'll rejuvenate Telemundo and then sell it.

Another big stakeholder (10%) is Arthur Goldberg, president and CEO of Bally Entertainment, which owns casinos. He is still buying and some think he will make a run for the company.

Some investors believe Telemundo's new president and CEO, 37-year-old Ronald Hernandez, also wants to buy the company. He founded and owns Interspan Communications, which formed KFWD-TV, a Telemundo affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth. Hernandez owns about 5% of the stock, and rumors say he has been buying more. A New York hedge-fund manager says Hernandez wants to take the company private. Goldberg declined comment. Hernandez didn't return calls.BY GENE G. MARCIAL

We Almost Lost the Nasdaq

(enter your email)
(enter up to 5 email addresses, separated by commas)

Max 250 characters

blog comments powered by Disqus