As of last week, Colombian banker and industrialist Jaime Gilinski (above photo) has taken over Cali’s struggling newspaper El Pais, adding it to his Grupo Semana organization, that already holds Semana Magazine, Colombia’s largest news weekly.
Gilinski took control of the insolvent El Pais by assuming approximately $2 million USD of the newspaper’s debt. The struggling paper, founded by Conservative party politician Álvaro Lloreda Caicedo, had not paid its staff in at least three months, and there were fears it would completely close.
“In this new era, the newspaper will benefit from a strategic investment plan that will allow it to strengthen itself in journalism and technology to face today’s challenges, and to continue fulfilling its mission of reporting responsibly and truthfully. From now on, El País will also bet on new audiences and will strengthen its presence on digital platforms,” said its new sister publication, Semana.
The Gilinski family already owns several businesses in Colombia, including the GNB Sudameris bank, the Servibanca ATM network, and Rimax plastic products. The family, backed by Tahnoon bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, has been launching multiple hostile takeovers of different businesses in Medellín, such as Argos Cement, Nutresa foods, Sura insurance, and Medellín’s daily newspaper, El Colombiano. So far, shareholders have worked in concert to successfully keep Gilinski out, rejecting his multiple tender offers.
Headline photo: Screen capture from Canal CESA (YouTube)