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Univision, Televisa agree $4.8bn merger

US Hispanic broadcaster Univision has bought the content and media assets of Mexican media company Televisa in a US$4.8bn deal through which the companies will merge to form Televisa-Univision.

Wade Davis

The deal comprises a transaction of US$3bn in cash, US$1.5bn in Univision equity and US$300m from other sources.

Televisa will be the largest shareholder in the new company, with a 45% stake. The deal is expected to be finalised later this year, although both parties have already signed it off.

Univision CEO Wade Davis will head the new company, with Televisa co-CEO Alfonso de Angoitia becoming executive chairman on the new board of directors.

Televisa will contribute 27 pay TV channels, four free channels, film distributor Videocine and its SVoD platform Blim TV. It will keep hold of pay network Sky Mexico and telecoms company Izzi.

The confirmation comes after a deal was rumoured at the end of last month, and the two have now united to form one of the biggest Spanish-language networks in the world.

The merger will be partly financed by US$1bn of equity investment led by SoftBank’s Latin American Fund, along with current Univision investor ForgeLight, Google and The Raine Group. A further US$2.1bn of debt commitment comes from JP Morgan.

The two companies have a long-standing relationship, with Televisa supplying Univision with telenovelas for decades. The merged firm now plans to launch a Spanish-language streaming service that can compete with global platforms in domestic markets.

Davis said: “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.

“Televisa-Univision will emerge as the leading global Spanish-language multimedia company, uniquely positioned to capture the significant market opportunity for Spanish speakers worldwide.”

In a joint statement, Televisa co-CEOs Bernardo Gómez and De Angoitia added: “We have been deeply involved with Univision for more than two decades and we have never enjoyed a better relationship with our partners.

“We are creating a company which is a leader across multimedia categories, unified over the largest territories and with the scale and focus to deliver the most compelling content experience to Spanish-language consumers around the world.

“We are confident this strategic transaction will maximise the potential of our content segment, while allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet and focus on growth opportunities at our telecom business.”

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