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Searchlight, ForgeLight buy into Univision

Private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners and media investment company ForgeLight have acquired a majority stake in US Hispanic broadcaster Univision.

Vince Sadusky

The deal will see Searchlight and ForgeLight jointly acquire 64% of the company, with Mexican broadcaster Televisa retaining the remaining 36% stake. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

ForgeLight founder Wade Davis will become the new Univision CEO once the acquisition has been completed and approved, with this expected to come into effect later this year.

Televisa has been a key strategic partner to Univision for decades. Their relationship provides Univision with the exclusive US broadcast and digital rights to Televisa’s programme library, including Spanish-language dramas, sports, sitcoms, reality series and entertainment.

Following the acquisition, Televisa’s Program License Agreement with Univision will remain in effect and will not expire unless Televisa voluntarily sells down a substantial portion of its ownership stake, at which point the agreement would remain in place for an additional 7.5 years.

Televisa is expected to continue to be an important partner to the new Univision ownership and management team going forward.

Vince Sadusky, CEO of Univision, said: “We are a re-energised and refocused company, and today marks the start of an exciting new chapter with partners that recognise the excellent position Univision is in.

“Both Searchlight and Wade are wholly supportive of Univision’s core mission to entertain, inform and empower Hispanic America and fully embrace the commitment and special bond we have with our audience.

“I remain committed to leading the company and supporting a smooth and successful transition over the coming months to ensure Univision is best positioned for the future ahead.”

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