Reuters, the Miami Herald, Fortune/CNNMoney.com, New York Business Journal and Billboard are all running with the story.
They all cite sources as saying Spanish-language broadcasting giant Univision is in talks with banks to announce Initial Public Offerings (IPO) of the company’s stock during the second half of 2014.
There has been no official announcement from Univision itself. Much of the reporting of this story focuses on initial reports from Reuters earlier this month.
In Reuters’ Sept. 19 story, reporters Olivia Oran and Soyoung Kim wrote, “U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc has in recent weeks held discussions with banks about an initial public offering, according to three people familiar with the matter, as strong stock markets encourage private equity owners to seek exits for their portfolio companies.”
Univision is based in New York, but much of the network’s operations are also based in the Miami area. According to The Miami Herald, if initial reports end up becoming true, this would not be the first time the network has gone public. Herald reporter Douglas Hanks wrote on Sept. 21 “Buyout firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners, took Univision private in 2007 with a $12.3 billion stock purchase. Univision first went public in 1996.”
Univision going public, company makes changes
This news comes at a time of victories, change and challenges for Univision.
This past summer, for the first time ever, Univision hit a milestone when it beat out the English-language U.S. television networks in the ratings race for adult viewers who are under the age of 50.
In addition to that, Univision is reading its launch of Fusion, which is its joint venture with Disney-owned ABC News. Fusion is expected to launch in October with a bilingual all-news format that is also trying to appeal to millenials via digital and social media coverage.
All of this comes as Cesar Conde, who had been the President of Univison since 2009, announced earlier this month that he is leaving to become an Executive Vice President at NBCUniversal.
Still, when it comes to the money, Univision’s attractiveness for potential stockholders is easy to see. According to Reuters, “Univision’s second-quarter earnings grew 28 percent this year to $40.7 million. Revenue rose 10.4 percent to $676.5 million.”
Reuters also reports, “Mexican media conglomerate Televisa, which also provides a chunk of Univision programming, made a $1.2 billion investment in the company in 2010. As part of the deal, Televisa took a 5 percent Univision stake and bought debt that could be converted into a stake of up to 30 percent in the broadcaster.”