Univision Files for IPO

Univision CEO Randy Falco

In a related move, Mexican broadcaster Televisa will increase its voting stake in the Spanish-language media giant, led by CEO Randy Falco, to 22 percent.

Univision Holdings said on Thursday that it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering.

The number of shares to be offered in the IPO and the price range for the stock offering have not yet been determined, according to the filing.

In a related move, Mexican TV giant Grupo Televisa and Univision have agreed to amend and extend a long-running programming partnership and business relationship that will see Televisa increase its voting stake in Univision to 22 percent, up from just below 10 percent currently. "The classes of Univision shares of common stock to be held by Televisa will also provide Televisa the right to designate a minimum number of directors to Univision’s board of directors," the companies said.

Univision, led by CEO Randy Falco, has long been expected to go public again and earlier this year signaled a filing could be sent as early as the middle of this year. The company's private equity owners have been looking at ways to exit their investment, including an IPO and a possible sale. Earlier in the year, the company hired former Goldman Sachs executive Francisco Lopez-Balboa as CFO.

Univision has been privately held since a $12 billion buyout in 2007 by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, TPG Capital and Saban Capital Group.

In preparation for the planned IPO, Univision in May said agreements with its current private equity owners would be coming to an end. The company said back then that it had accrued reduced termination fee payments of $112.4 million and $67.6 million to the private equity sponsors and Televisa, respectively, in the first quarter and made them in April. It said it would continue to pay them quarterly fees under their agreements until no later than Dec. 31.

New York-based Univision, which has beaten English-language broadcast networks in key demo ratings, said it plans to list its Class A common stock under ticker symbol UVN. It hasn't determined on which exchange the stock will list yet. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities are among the IPO underwriters, according to the preliminary prospectus filing.

Univision's program licensing agreement with Televisa will, under the planned extension, run to at least 2030, an extension from 2025 currently. The partners outlined slight changes to the royalty payments under the pact.

The Televisa agreements "underscore the strength of Univision’s relationship with Televisa and the significant and unique benefits of our mutually beneficial partnership," said Falco. "By taking these steps and our pursuit of other related initiatives, Univision is in a stronger competitive position going forward. Televisa is the best Spanish-language content producer in the world, and we are pleased to continue to have its support as we enter the next exciting chapter of Univision’s history."

"We are excited to enter into a new phase in the relationship with Univision, the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Univision today is one of the most successful and diversified media organizations globally thanks to the hard work and dedication of Randy Falco and his team," said Alfonso de Angoitia, executive vp of Televisa. "With these transactions we strengthen our relationship further and reiterate our full commitment to Univision and its future."

Twitter: @georgszalai

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