3i backs Hispanic radio operator

3i has provided growth capital to help Unión Radio, the Latin American and Spanish radio operator, on its path to an initial public offering.

3i has taken a minority stake in Unión Radio, the hispanic radio operator. 3i will initially invest €125 million ($200 million) from commitments of €225 million.

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Unión Radio is valued at €1.3 billion and owns 100 percent of Cadena Ser and Grupo Latino de Radio, which collectively own more than 1,250 radio stations in Spain, Latin America and the US. It has more than 22 million listeners worldwide.

Unión Radio’s Spanish radio group Cadena Ser has the most audience numbers in Spain for both spoken and music programmes. In the US, the company has two radio stations, operating in Los Angeles and Miami. 

The company also has stations in numerous countries including Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile.

3i partner Maite Ballester said in a statement his firm would help to grow the company worldwide, especially in the US where 3i has a team.

The company sought backing to take it towards a potential initial public offering in Spain or in the US in the medium term, 3i said in a statement.  3i partner Maite Ballester and director Javier Alonso will join Unión Radio’s board of directors.

3i has stepped up its investments in growth capital in recent years, and growth capital now accounts for a third of its investments. In the eleven months to 29 February it invested £960 million and realised £432 million in growth capital, with investments of £432 million and realisations of £609 million last year.