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Liberty Media Could Be Interested in Univision Stake – Report

Variety logo Variety 7/19/2017 Brian Steinberg
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John Malone’s Liberty Media could be interested in buying a stake in Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc., which has been considering offers in the wake of a delay in its efforts to hold an initial public offering, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A spokeswoman for Univision, which is owned jointly by private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG and Thomas H. Lee Partners, declined to comment on the report.  A spokesperson for Liberty Media could not be reached for immediate comment. Grupo Televisa SAB, a large producer of Spanish-language television, is a minority investor in Univision.

It is not clear that Liberty and Univision will complete a transaction, according to the report, which suggested that “the two sides were far apart on valuation.” Univision remains open to a number of different possibilities, according to a person familiar with the matter, including an IPO.

Disclosure of Liberty’s potential interest serves as a reminder that Univision’s backers are likely to continue seeking a strategic exit from the business, which they took private in 2007. Private-equity firms typically try to get out from a business after a span of a few years’ time. Univision’s owners registered for an IPO in 2015, but have postponed the process as media companies grapple with destabilizing business factors such as consumer migration from TV to other kinds of video entertainment.

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