Univision may be selling itself to Liberty Global and a smaller rival called Hemisphere Media, a Spanish-language broadcaster in Miami that bills itself as “the only publicly traded pure-play U.S. media company targeting the high growth U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.”
The news, reported first by Bloomberg on Thursday citing people familiar with the matter, said former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, with backing from institutional investors, and private equity firm Platinum may also be interested in a piece of the Spanish-language media giant.
Matt Beake, a spokesman for Liberty Global in London, told Deadline that, “This is a small investment that Liberty Global Ventures is exploring.” He specified that if it happens, it would go through Liberty Global Ventures, the investment arm of Liberty Global.
Final offers are due in February and no decision has been made on whether to sell. Univision retained advisers in July to explore strategic options, including a sale, which is said to be supported by giant backer Grupo Televisa.
Univision most recently rejected a takeover offer from Discovery Communications in 2017 — a sister company to Liberty Global in the electric universe of media financier John Malone. Univision also scrapped an IPO in 2018.
Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky, who came on in 2016, has been streamlining the company, selling off the Gizmodo Media Group last year, including websites Jezebel and Deadspin.
Hemisphere owns and operates five leading U.S. Hispanic cable networks, two Latin American cable networks, and the leading broadcast television network in Puerto Rico. It has ownership interests in Canal 1, the No. 3 national broadcast television network in Colombia, and in Pantaya, a Spanish-language OTT service in the U.S. It has a deal with Snap Media’s Snap Global for distribution of Hempisphere content in Latin America.