Grupo América completed the purchase of the newspaper El Cronista Comercial, for US $ 6 million, from Francisco De Narváez, after little more than a month of negotiations, as announced Clarion.
After the purchase of Edenor, José Luis Manzano and Daniel Vila managed to add their partners in Grupo América, Gabriel hochbaum Y Claudio Belocopitt, in the acquisition of the economic newspaper and its magazines Apertura, Clase Ejecutiva and Information Technology.
“Next week we are going to take over the company”, said this Tuesday Daniel Vila to Clarion. And he added: “We are not going to make changes, because it is a newspaper that works very well, so the idea is to keep it as it is. For now, there will be no additions.”
Manzano, former Minister of the Interior of Carlos Menem and former Peronist deputy, had 20% of El Cronista for five years, when he bought that percentage from De Narváez, who in turn had bought it from the Spanish group Recoletos in 2006. But now Manzano, Vila, Hochbaum and Belocopitt, through Grupo América, presented a joint offer to buy the entire company.
“We were missing this digital journalistic leg, together with an economic newspaper such as El Cronista and magazines that complement the other media of the group. Perhaps later on we will expand the digital platform to general issues, such as politics, but that is still being analyzed, “Vila said to Clarion.
“They always wanted to have an economic newspaper. Many years ago, Vila and Manzano wanted to buy Ambito Financiero, but Cristóbal López beat them out, ”said a source close to Grupo América.
The businessman and former deputy De Narváez had already begun his withdrawal from the media sector with the sale of 20% of El Cronista to Manzano, at the end of 2016. Shortly after, in February 2017, he sold to Claudio Belocopitt -owner of Swiss Medical- 40% that it had in Grupo América TV.
And at the end of last year, De Narváez bought the Walmart supermarket chain in Argentina, in a movement back to what were its business origins, when De Narváez’s family ran Casa Tía and sold it in 1998 to the Exxel Group for about $ 630 million.
Manzano, Hochbaum and Vila have another 40% in Grupo América, which includes the air channel, the A24 signal and La Red radio, among other means. In addition, both are owners of the newspaper Uno, with operations in Mendoza, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos.
When Francisco De Narváez sold his 40% stake in América TV to Belocopitt, agreed with Manzano to give him the purchase option of the newspaper El Cronista, something that has just now materialized, at US $ 6 million.
The former Peronist deputy and Vila sold the cable TV operator Supercanal to CVI Austral in 2018. And at the end of last year, together with Mauricio Filiberti (supplier of Aysa), bought the majority shareholding of Edenor to Marcelo Mindlin, in US $ 100 million, of which they committed to pay US $ 50 million at the closing of the operation, US $ 45 million during the first year and another US $ 5 million in shares. This operation received the approval of the electricity regulatory body (ENRE) last month and was referred to the National Commission for the Defense of Competition to complete the official approvals.