Several Suitors Mull Univision Bid


One month after Univision revealed it would consider a sale or merger, several companies have emerged as possibilities to purchase country’s top Spanish-language broadcast company.

Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa, which supplies the bulk of Univision’s TV programming, is considered a frontrunner. Televisa would likely need U.S.-based partners, however, to meet regulatory approval, since foreign companies cannot own more than 25% of U.S. broadcast companies.  

Other contenders who have expressed interest include News Corp., CBS Corp. and Time Warner. A report in Friday’s New York Times said CBS is working with private-equity firm The Blackstone Group on a proposal, but a network representative declined to comment.

To make a play for Univision, CBS would need to take on a partner, since it owns too many TV stations on its own and could not take on Univision’s portfolio under the current ownership limits. However, according to executives familiar with the company, CBS is not interested in partnering with an investment firm and would likely seek another partner, as it did with the new CW network, co-owned with Time Warner.

Similarly, for News Corp. to make a bid for Univision, the company would have to find ways to free up room under the ownership cap or take on a partner. Its Fox Television Stations’ unit already owns 35 stations in 26 markets.  

Univision Communications owns top-rated Univision; the fifth-largest U.S. TV network, Telefutura; and cable network Galavision. The company owns and operates 62 TV stations and 69 radio stations.