Televisa places Univision bid

Analysts peg offering at $11.2 billion

This article was updated at 4:11 p.m.

MEXICO CITY — The consortium of investors led by Mexican web Televisa submitted a bid for top Hispanic broadcaster Univision at around 2:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Sources close to the negotiations wouldn’t specify the amount of the bid, except by describing it as higher than a $35.50 per-share offer made by a competing investor group. They added that the bid was fully financed and required no additional outside capital.

Most analysts suggested Friday that Televisa was offering $36 per share or about $11.2 billion for the company controlled by A. Jerrold Perenchio.

Univision stock rose 2% on the news Friday morning after sliding for days.

What was expected to be an intense bidding war was disrupted by disarray earlier in the week in the Televisa camp.

Three of the private equity investment firms that were originally in the Televisa group – Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR – backed out during the week, forcing Televisa to hustle its remaining partners – Bain Capital and Bill Gates’ investment firm Cascade Investments to pick up a $1.5 billion shortfall.

Apparently they did so, because the Televisa offer had no new partners attached.

Complicating matters, Venevision too has opted out of the consortium led by Televisa. The Cisneros Group, which owns broadcaster Venevision, elected “not to participate in the initial phase of presenting a plan or proposal for a transaction with Univision Communications,” a company statement said Friday afternoon.

Cisneros Group spokesperson Antonieta de Lopez declined to give any reasons behind the pullout. Talks went on into the late hours Thursday night before Venevision decided to bail, she added.

Both Televisa and its erstwhile partner Venevision would be limited by FCC rules on foreign ownership that prevent them from taking a collective stake greater than 25%.

The bid from Televisa’s rival, led by media mogul Haim Saban, was apparently rejected as too low by Univision.

Sources close to Saban said that the group’s offer expired Friday, but it is uncertain if that group will up its ante following Televisa’s higher offer.

Sources close to the Saban consortium have said the group is ready to walk away from the table but is counting on the fact that it would face less regulatory scrutiny from the FCC than Televisa’s group.

Saban’s group includes private equity firms Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and Providence Equity Partners.

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