Mexico’s Televisa Reportedly Near Deal to Buy Univision

May 1, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa is close to structuring a deal to buy Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications, according to a report in last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, a New York Times report last Thursday said a number of large media companies, including CBS Corp. and The Walt Disney Co., have met with Univision’s management about possible bids.

The reports illustrate the strong interest that Univision, the No. 1 Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, is generating since announcing earlier this year that it was considering a sale as majority shareholder and Chairman A. Jerrold Perenchio, 75, looks to get out of the business.

Some estimates peg the final price at between $12 billion and $14 billion. None of the companies involved in a potential deal were commenting last week on the reports or the status of the negotiations. According to the Journal report, which cites people familiar with the situation, Televisa’s board could meet as soon as Thursday to vote on whether to pursue a bid for Univision.

Televisa has long been considered a likely bidder, in part because it holds an 11 percent stake in Univision and because it has a multiyear agreement to supply Univision with the television shows that have driven Univision’s ratings success over the years.

However, because of U.S. rules restricting the foreign ownership of broadcasters in this country, Televisa would have to team with a U.S. partner to make a bid for Univision.

Meanwhile, the Times is reporting that executives of CBS and Disney have held meetings with Univision in preparation for a possible bid, though the article makes clear that either company could walk away from making

an offer.