28 ENE 2020

LIBERTY AND HEMISPHERE MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN BUYING UNIVISION

Liberty Global’s investment arm is working with Hemisphere Media Group on a bid for Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

Share

Liberty Global’s investment arm is working with Hemisphere Media Group on a bid for Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications Inc., people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Final offers are due in February, said one of the people. The private equity firm Platinum Equity is also interested, as well as former Viacom’s Chief Financial Officer, Wade Davis, who has backing from institutional investors.

However, no final decision has been made and Liberty Global, whose chairman is billionaire John Malone, Hemisphere and Platinum Equity could opt to not proceed with offers, the people said. “This is a small investment that Liberty Global Ventures is exploring,”  said Matt Beake, Liberty Global’s spokesman, in a statement.

Buying Univision could be a stretch for Hemisphere: Univision had $7.4 billion of debt and $260 million of stockholder equity as of September 30, according to regulatory filings. The broadcaster has struggled financially since a 2007 leveraged buyout and is engaged in a ratings battle with its rival, Comcast Corp.’s Telemundo.In 2017, Univision rejected a takeover offer from Discovery Inc., that had valued the company at more than $13 billion. It also scrapped an initial public offering in 2018.

In July, Univision said it had engaged financial advisers to review strategic options, including a sale. Grupo Televisa SAB, one of Univision’s owners, supports the sale process, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

This is a small investment that Liberty Global Ventures is exploring” Matt Beake Spokesman of Liberty Global