Brazil's Abril Group buys minority stake in Editora Simbolo

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SAO PAULO--Abril Group, a leading publisher in Brazil, has bought a minority stake in Brazil's No. 3 publisher, Editora Simbolo. The company did not disclose any figures for the transaction.

Simbolo will retain its brand name and management team. Joana Woo will remain president of the company, retaining a majority stake in Simbolo. She will take part in the development of new projects at Abril, alongside Thomaz Souto Correa, exec VP and editorial director at Abril, and Gabriel Rico, publications VP.

"Our goal is to keep the style and independence of Editora Simbolo, adding the Abril quality to it", says Ms. Woo.

The association is a strategic move for both sides, says Roberto Civita, president of the Abril Group. Editora Simbolo will grow with Abril's sup-port, and Abril will count on Joana Woo's talent to develop new projects.

Other Simbolo managers remaining at the company include Roberto Melo, editorial VP and Yara Grottera, commercial VP.

Simbolo was created in 1987 with the launch of a fitness magazine called Corpo-a-Corpo. It's Brazil's third biggest publishing company, with 11 national circulation titles and other publications such as guides and special publications. The magazines include Atrevida, Raca Brasil (for black readers), Dieta Ja, Atrevida Mini, Meu Nene, Bananas de Pijamas, So Receitas, Tititi and the most recent launch, Chiques & Famosos, inspired by Abril's weekly magazine Caras.

Abril, part of the Abril Group, is one of Latin America's leading publish-ing companies, with 209 titles. With international partners, the group has operations in Portugal and Argentina.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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