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TheStreet Open House

'Go Where the Crisis Is -- Europe' to Buy Stocks

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Grupo Prisa (PRIS) (Spain)

Company Profile: Grupo Prisa is a Spanish media conglomerate. The company owns newspapers and magazines, but it is also a cable TV and radio station operator.

Current Share Price: $4.82 (Sept. 16)

Marcus' Take: When Marcus says "Spain," "media" and "Europe" togther, it's three strikes against a company in investors' eyes. Grupo Prisa is one of the largest holdings in the Evermore Global Value Fund, but Marcus isn't betting on the company for its newspapers. Grupo Prisa also has an education business and it produces textbooks, which is where Marcus sees opportunity.

"These are sold in Spain but there is a huge opportunity in emerging Latin America, like Brazil, Chile and Mexico," Marcus says. "Those are emerging markets where they are trying to better educate the people. Owning a textbook business in those markets is a great business to be in."

Marcus is also keen on the company's restructuring effort. Grupo Prisa has new management as of April 1 and recently saw the first layoffs in the history of the company. "They're streamlining operations, selling off excess real estate," he says. "They're doing all the classic things you should do to turn the business around. They're changing the ways executives are compensated, tying it more to the business."

Marcus notes that the stock trades at less than five times earnings and four times cash. The company has also reduced the debt on the balance sheet from 6 billion euros to about 3.5 billion euros. "They're still aggressively working on restructuring the debt today," Marcus adds.






Bollore (France)

Company Profile: Bollore is a French conglomerate founded in 1822. The company produces everything from shrink-wrap films to thin paper for industrial catalogs to lithium batteries for electric cars. The company even delivers home heating oil and operates a television station.

Current Share Price: 173.70 euros (Sept. 16)

Marcus' Take: While Marcus appreciates all facets of Bollore's business, he's particularly interested in the company's control and operation of ports and container terminals. Bollore operates 40 ports in Africa, which is an emerging region Marcus wants to exposure to.

"Africa is one of the last of the untapped emerging markets," he says. "I'm sneaking into Africa markets today, which don't have the same protections and transparency as French markets, where Bollore is based. When I look at the assets of the company, I'm getting all this value for 50 cents on the dollar."

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