Searchlight, ForgeLight complete majority stake purchase of Univision

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight have completed their majority stake purchase of Univision, the largest Spanish-language U.S. broadcaster, while Mexico’s Televisa maintains its minority stake, Univision said on Tuesday.

Searchlight and ForgeLight acquired 64% of the company from an investor group including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group, Univision said in a statement.

The deal could value Univision at $8 billion to $10 billion, a source familiar with the matter said in February.

Televisa, Mexico’s biggest broadcaster, would keep its existing 36% stake in Univision. Televisa would also retain its programming license agreement with Univision, the statement said.

Televisa distributes exclusive content to Univision, including its signature soap operas, known as telenovelas, for the broadcaster’s Spanish-speaking viewers in the United States.

As part of the acquisition, ForgeLight Chief Executive and founder Wade Davis will become CEO of Univision at the closing of the deal, Univision said. Davis was previously Viacom’s chief finiancial officer.

“Wade’s leadership and Searchlight’s support are the catalysts that Univision needs to solidify its position as the leading Spanish-language media organization in the United States in light of the rapid changes that the industry is facing,” said Televisa co-CEOs Bernardo Gomez and Alfonso de Angoitia.

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