CBS Corp. ‘Unlikely’ to Attempt Univision Purchase

Mar 29, 2006  •  Post A Comment

CBS Corp. Chief Financial Officer Fred Reynolds told investors Wednesday that he thought it was unlikely the broadcaster would make a play for Spanish-language media company Univision Communications, citing price and regulatory hurdles.

Speaking at a Banc of America Securities media conference, Mr. Reynolds said “valuation” and “regulation” were two factors that would likely prevent CBS from attempting to purchase Univision, which announced earlier this year that it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Mr. Reynolds’ comments came in response to a New York Post article Wednesday that said CBS was considering teaming with a partner to make a bid for Univision, which is expected to fetch between $12 billion and $13 billion. Mr. Reynolds said the acquisitions CBS is looking at are more likely to be in the $300 million range.

Ever since going public with its plan to explore a sale, Univision has attracted a lot of interest from big-name media companies such as CBS, Time Warner and News Corp. — all of which could use Univision’s strength as the nation’s leading Spanish-language broadcaster as an entry point into the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

CBS and News Corp. have been seen as the likeliest suitors, in part because their operations would be complemented by Univision’s assets, which include broadcast channels Univision and Telefutura, cable network Galavision and radio and television stations.

However, both CBS and News Corp. own enough television stations to be near the Federal Communications Commission’s ownership cap of 39 percent coverage of the United States.