In the News

Cobalt Buys Spanish-Language Directory in Indy

April 19, 2004

Continuing its strategy of expanding into Spanish-language telephone books, Cobalt Publishing LLC has purchased Indianapolis-based El Directorio yellow pages.

Cobalt Publishing completed the Indianapolis telephone directory purchase last week, said Jonathan Blue, a director of Louisville-based Cobalt Publishing LLC and its sister company Cobalt Ventures LLC, a development firm.

Cobalt bought the business from Goins International Group, also of Indianapolis.

“We think that the media and publishing areas have very high potential for growth and for building companies here that have positive focuses elsewhere,” he said. “We will continue to proceed with acquisitions as they are strategic for us.”

Blue declined to disclose the terms of the purchase or the revenue generated by the Indianapolis directory or Cobalt Publishing.

He did say, however, that the Indianapolis directory has two employees currently and that there are plans to add 10 to 15 people immediately.

Blue said Cobalt Publishing employs between 30 and 40 people and has plans to triple that number in the next 12 to 18 months.

Company’s portfolio growing

This most recent acquisition is the company’s third acquisition since the first of the year “in this venue,” he said.

Cobalt Publishing, through its El Enlace Latino brand of Spanish yellow pages, also owns directories in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Nashville, Tenn.

The Indianapolis book “will be a great addition to this portfolio,” Blue said. “To the extent that we can increase the number of directories in our ownership sphere, we can increase that reach to national advertisers.”

Cobalt Publishing also owns the Cobalt Blue Book, an English-language telephone directory distributed in 11 Kentucky counties.

Blue said the move into Spanish-language yellow pages is not a change in overall business strategy for the various companies in which he is involved, but rather a continuation of this specific line of business.

Additional sister companies to Cobalt Ventures and Cobalt Publishing are First Omni Mortgage Lending LLC and various limited liability corporations focusing on real estate.

Blue also is an investor in and on the board of directors of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Heritage Radio Partners LLC, which operates Spanish-language radio stations.

Hispanic business leader pleased

Ellie Kerstetter, president of Louisville’s Hispanic Business Association, lauded Blue and Cobalt for their efforts to serve the Hispanic community in Louisville and elsewhere.

“Jonathan Blue and Cobalt, they are really doing an excellent job getting in touch with the Hispanic community,”¬†Kerstetter said. “He’s going beyond the limits right now, and I congratulate him.”

Kerstetter, who is an attorney in private practice, said the unofficial number of Hispanics in the Louisville area is about 50,000, and “our community is growing extensively.” Spanish-language directories are “direly needed in our community,” she said.

And, Kerstetter added, the growth of these directories in other markets shows “how easily we can all become one greater community.”

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