Spanish-Language Media Giant Univision Prepares IPO

U.S. Spanish-language media giant Univision is reportedly preparing to go public, with the private equity investors who took the company private a decade ago now viewing an initial public …

U.S. Spanish-language media giant Univision is reportedly preparing to go public, with the private equity investors who took the company private a decade ago now viewing an initial public offering (IPO) as the best option to cash out their stake.

Univision – some of whose soap operas gain more viewers than those of its English counterparts such as NBC and Fox – values itself at US$20 billion and hopes to raise US$1 billion in an IPO.

According to Reuters, the private equity owners have already hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to underwrite the IPO, and are also persuading other investment banks to take part.

New York-based Univision also owns another broadcast channel called UniMas, as well as several cable networks and a number of Spanish radio stations. According to Moody’s, the media group generated $2.9 billion in sales last year.

Investors in Univision include Saban Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and TPG Capital and Grupo Televisa. Among the investors, Mexico-based Televisa stands to profit the most, because it owns a large chunk of Univision’s debt, which can be converted into shares once the media company goes public.

Univision’s future lies in the growing population of Spanish-speaking Latinos in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the country in 2013, or 17% of the total population. That figure is set to rise to 128.8 million by 2060.

Last year, news swirled around that Univision was being sold to CBS Corp or Time Warner Inc., but the rumor died down quickly. Now it is looking increasingly likely that Univision will float its shares in the capital market.

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