RealTime IT News

StarMedia Buys Mexican Directory, Search Engine

StarMedia Network Inc. and partners Tuesday grabbed a major Mexican Net directory for $20 million.

StarMedia (STRM) put $15 million down for directory and search engine AdNet, S.A. de C.V., while the site's previous co-owners -- major Mexican cable operator MVS Comunicaciones and new media ad firm Moller Network -- added $5 million to the purchase plan. StarMedia will issue another $115 million in shares to the sellers over the next five years if unspecified targets are met.

AdNet will join the StarMedia network but will maintain its site separately. MVS, which is already charged with online ad support for the directory, will continue its services.

"With the acquisition of AdNet, we not only add to our portfolio of localized content and area-specific guides, we also establish key relationships with two of the most innovative and aggressive players in the Internet space in Mexico," said Fernando Espuelas, StarMedia's chairman and chief executive officer.

Last week, StarMedia reshuffled the company structure and created two new management posts. Luis Mario Bilenky will now serve as president and Francisco Loureiro will serve as chief operating officer of the newly- created division, StarMedia Interactive Group.

StarMedia Interactive Group will comprise the following divisions: product, technology, sales and marketing, mobile and broadband. This group will expand StarMedia's properties and distribution platforms. All of StarMedia's core operating groups throughout Latin America, U.S. and Spain will now report directly to Bilenky and Loureiro.

"We now seek to apply that same philosophy to the way in which we structure our business operations and manage our growth," Espuelassaid. "Our goal is to promote greater efficiencies to ensure that StarMedia continues to define and lead the industry with a successful multi-brand and distribution strategy."

Earlier this month, StarMedia forged a Net access and cable agreement with WorldGate Communications Inc. (WGAT).