Mexican Powerhouse Makes U.S. Spanish YP Deal

Mexico’s huge publisher of 135 yellow pages directories Teléfonos de México SA, a.k.a. Telmex, is set to buy a group of U.S.-based Spanish-language phone directories published under the Enlace Spanish Yellow Pages title.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the to-be-acquired firm, “controlled by private-equity firm Blue Equity LLC, is the largest independent Spanish-language directory publisher in the U.S., with 32 directories spread across 18 states.”

Blue Equity Chairman Jonathan Blue sees dollar signs when looking at the U.S. Hispanic market: “Mexicans are the No. 1 Hispanic demographic in this country, by far, Mr. Blue said. ‘This is the golden nugget for Telmex. The U.S. Hispanic market is wealthier than most Latino countries, and it validates how important that demographic is.”

Evidently, Telmex head honcho Carlos Slim Helú aims to build up the Telmex brand here among Mexican immigrants and other Spanish speakers. The deal should help connect his firm to “large multinationals that typically advertise in directories alongside small businesses,” adds the story.

Visit Enlace’s, and you’ll find biz listings for states including Ohio and California. There doesn’t seem to be much ad action going on there, which I’m sure Telmex will change.

As the yellow pages industry continues morphing with online classifieds and search, many directories publishers are looking at their print products and seeing a grim future. I wonder how Telmex will maneuver in this challenging space.

You’ll also find at least one category you wouldn’t in English directories on “15th Birthday.” Sure, directories companies can easily translate between English and Spanish, but there are cultural considerations, like the 15-year-old Latina’s coming of age celebration Quinceañera. When it comes to immigrant communities, I guess local isn’t always just a geographical thing.

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