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Univision Accepts Saban Bid

Jun 27, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Spanish-language media company Univision Communications announced Tuesday it has accepted an offer by a group of investors headed by Saban Capital Group to acquire the company for $36.25 per share in cash, or about $13.7 billion.

Saban Capital Group, plus its partners Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, also will assume $1.4 billion in Univision debt.

Univision’s assets include the Univision Network, its sister broadcast network TeleFutura and the cable network Galavisión. The company also holds the second-largest TV station group in the U.S., a network of radio stations, a music recording company and Web holdings.

The merger agreement has been approved by the Univision board and is not contingent on financing. The transaction is subject to the approval of Univision shareholders, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in spring 2007.

The deal comes a week after Univision’s June 20 deadline for what was expected to be two rival bids. Only the Saban group made an offer that day. Another group interested in the network, fronted by Mexican media company Televisa, a major supplier to Univision, made an offer last Friday.

Interest in U.S.-based Spanish-language media has been growing alongside the burgeoning population and increased attention from advertisers, but the company’s size made the Univision purchase in its entirety by any major U.S. media company difficult because of regulatory constraints. Some analysts have suggested Univision was less valuable to some potential buyers because of the company’s inability to attract high-end advertisers, who prefer to target high-income Hispanics through English-language media.