Univision Buyers to Cash Out in IPO

The Spanish-language media company's public listing could raise as much as $1 billion and value the company at $20 billion.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMarch 11, 2015

Univision’s planned initial public offering, expected to be “one of the media industry’s biggest in years,” will reportedly by led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, sources told Reuters Tuesday.

The U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster’s IPO, likely to happen later this year, could raise more than $1 billion and value the company at as much as $20 billion, including debt, according to Reuters.

Univision’s “highly-rated” Spanish language broadcast network “sometimes beats English language broadcasters such as NBC in the prime-time ratings race,” Reuters wrote. The company also owns UniMas, another broadcast channel, as well as several cable networks and numerous Spanish radio stations.

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In 2007 the company was taken private by a group of buyout firms, for $12.3 billion. The group included Saban Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

For the last few years Univision has considered selling itself to would-be suitors including CBS and Time Warner, sources told Reuters.

“Nevertheless, the IPO remains the most attractive option for the buyout firms to cash out on their investment,” Reuters wrote.

One of Univision’s shareholders is Mexican media company Grupo Televisa, which currently owns an 8% stake and has bought debt that could be converted into a stake of up to 30%.

Grupo Televisa holds three board seats and receives hundreds of millions in licensing revenue and royalties every year from Univision, “which airs a large chunk of its programming,” according to Reuters.