Univision agrees to 13.7-billion-dollar sale

LOS ANGELES, June 27, 2006 (AFP) – Univision, the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, agreed Tuesday to be acquired by a group of investors including tycoon Haim Saban for 13.7 billion dollars.

The investor group, including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group, agreed to pay 36.25 dollars per share in cash and assume 1.4 billion dollars in debt.

"I am delighted to announce this blockbuster transaction, which provides a unique opportunity to deliver substantial current value to our shareholders, while establishing a partnership for Univision and its employees with five of the world’s preeminent investment firms," said A. Jerrold Perenchio, Univision’s chairman, president and chief executive.

"This blue-chip group brings to Univision in-depth knowledge of the rapidly changing media landscape and an exceptional track record of supporting growth and enhancing value."

"Univision is truly a one-of-a-kind property. It is an outstanding media brand with exceptional positions in the fastest-growing markets in the country, world-class assets, strong management, popular programming and unmatched ratings," the acquiring group said in a joint statement.

"This transaction presents a unique opportunity to contribute to and participate in the continuing growth of the clear leader in Spanish-language media and to further the company’s commitment to serving the Hispanic community.

"Univision has tremendous long-term growth opportunities in each of its businesses and we look forward to working together to build on its success and enhance its value in the years ahead."

The investor group includes a fund headed by Saban, a billionaire US-Israeli businessman, and other private equity groups involved in corporate takeovers.