Two of the biggest Spanish-language media companies in the world are planning to merge.
Mexico’s Televisa and Univision are set to combine media, production and content into a new company to be called Televisa-Univision, the two announced Tuesday. Univision will pay about $4.8 billion for Televisa’s content assets.
Univision CEO Wade Davis will hold the same title at the combined company, with Televisa co-CEO Alfonso de Angoitia serving as executive chairman of the board. Televisa will have the largest stake in the new venture, holding 45 percent equity.
The merger will be partly financed by $1 billion of new Series C preferred equity investment led by SoftBank’s Latin American Fund, along with current Univision investor ForgeLight LLC, Google and The Raine Group; and $2.1 billion of debt commitments arranged by J.P. Morgan.
The merger would create the largest Spanish-language media company in the world with bases in the two biggest Spanish-speaking markets: Mexico and the United States. Televisa is a production powerhouse, producing some 86,000 hours of content in 2020, and both companies hold big sports rights packages.
“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,” said 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. Our new investors at the SoftBank Latin America Fund, Google and The Raine Group are just as excited about the opportunities presented by this combination.”
Added Univision’s Davis, “This transformative combination brings together the leading network serving U.S. 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.”
Grupo Televisa’s assets in Mexico include four over-the-air channels, 27 pay-TV networks, movie studio Videocine and the Blim TV SVOD service, as well as a telecom business. Univision Holdings Inc. has the Univision and UniMas broadcast networks, 61 local TV stations and 58 radio stations, along with digital assets including its recently launched AVOD platform PrendeTV.
“We have been deeply involved with Univision for more than two decades, and we have never enjoyed a better relationship with our partners,” said Televisa co-CEOs Bernardo Gómez and de Angoitia. “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 that this strategic transaction will maximize the potential of our content segment, while allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet and focus on growth opportunities at our telecom business.”
The deal is expected to close later this year, pending regulatory approval in both the U.S. and Mexico and Televisa shareholder approval. The boards of the two companies have already signed off on the transaction.