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Legal battles shadow Entravision IPO

6/18/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern

WASHINGTON

Even as Spanish-language TV and radio group Entravision Communications Corp. finalizes its plans to go public, it is wrangling on two fronts with an entrepreneur who alleges fraud.

Entravision had claimed that it didn't own anything to Barbara Laurence, who says she was promised a 10% equity interest for each station she targeted for Entravision to buy and convert to a Univision affiliate. In a separate action, Laurence has sued for more than $20 million, saying that Entravision defrauded her in not coming through on their contract.

While the Superior Court of the District of Columbia did not rule on the latter matter, it did say that the contract between Entravision and Laurence is "unambiguous."

Meanwhile, Laurence has filed protests at the FCC against the renewal of the license of WHCT-TV Hartford, Conn., and the planned purchase of WNTO(TV) Daytona Beach/Orlando, Fla. Laurence wants the FCC to force Entravision to form a new LLC to own both the stations, which she says she found for Entravision and of which she would be 10% owner.

"We intend to vigorously defend against these claims," Entravision says in a June 14 Securities & Exchange Commission filing detailing the plans for its $600 million public offering.

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