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Univision and Televisa to merge content and media assets in US$4.8bn deal

Pair claim transaction will create world's "largest Spanish-language media company".

14 April 2021 Sam Carp
  • Combined Televisa-Univision company brings together two of the leading Spanish-language sports broadcasters
  • Pair to ‘aggressively pursue’ Spanish-language OTT opportunity with launch of global streaming platform in early 2022
  • Less than 10% of global Spanish speaking population currently use an OTT streaming product

Grupo Televisa and Univision Holdings have announced a US$4.8 billion merger that the pair say will create the world’s ‘largest Spanish-language media company’.

Under the deal, which is expected to close later this year and remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, Mexico-based Televisa’s content and media assets will be combined with US-based Univision to create a new company called Televisa-Univision.

The combined entity will comprise Televisa’s four free-to-air channels and 27 pay-TV networks, in addition to its Videocine movie studio and Blim TV subscription video on demand service, as well as the Television trademark.

Univision’s assets include the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks such as the TUDN sports channel, and 61 television stations and 58 radio stations, as well as the recently launched PrendeTV streaming service. 

The deal also brings together two of the biggest sports rights holders in Spanish-language broadcasting. Univision’s portfolio of US rights includes the Uefa Champions League, Major League Soccer (MLS) and Liga MX.

Televisa, which previously held a stake in Univision, will be the majority shareholder in Television-Univision with an equity stake of approximately 45 per cent.

Univision, which is the largest Spanish-language US broadcaster, will pay US$3 billion in cash to acquire Televisa’s content assets, in addition to US$750 million in Univision common equity and US$750 million in Series B preferred equity.

The transaction is also being funded in part by a US$1 billion Series C preferred equity investment led by the SoftBank Latin American Fund, with participation coming from current Univision investor ForgeLight LLC, Google and The Raine Group.

The combined company will be led by Univision chief executive Wade Davis. Alfonso de Angoitia will serve as executive chairman of a board of 13 directors, which will comprise five appointed by Televisa, three by Searchlight and ForgeLight, and two by the Series C shareholders, along with three independent directors.

“This transformative combination brings together the leading network serving US Spanish-language audiences with the leading media platform in Mexico powered by the most powerful Spanish-language content engine in the world,” said Davis. “Televisa-Univision will emerge as the leading global Spanish-language multi-media company, uniquely positioned to capture the significant market opportunity for Spanish speakers worldwide.

“The composition of our new investor group reflects confidence in our strategy, the progress of our digital transformation and the magnitude of the opportunity ahead of us.”

The merger brings together the world’s largest Spanish-language media market by value in the US with the most populous Spanish-language market globally in Mexico.

The pair said that the union will allow them to ‘aggressively pursue the relatively nascent global Spanish-language streaming opportunity’, with less than ten per cent of the Spanish speaking population currently using an over-the-top (OTT) video product.

Among the plans going forward is for Televisa-Univision to invest in the creation of a new global streaming platform, which is expected to launch in early 2022.

“This strategic combination generates significant value for shareholders of both companies and will allow us to more efficiently reach all Spanish-language audiences with more of our programming,” added Emilio Azcárraga, executive chairman of the Televisa board of directors. “Together, Televisa-Univision can more aggressively pursue innovation and growth through digital platforms as the industry continues to evolve.”

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