In a Wednesday filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Mexican broadcaster Televisa said it wants to sell its stake in Univision Communications Inc.
Last week Televisa lost an auction to buy Los Angeles-based Univision. The SEC filing includes a letter from Televisa to the auction winner, an investment group led by Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Haim Saban. The letter states that "Televisa is prepared to discuss with you a sale of its shares of Univision as soon as possible."
Televisa said it will not roll over its shares in Univision in the Saban acquisition. By selling its shares, Televisa will void a 1996 agreement that it must invite Univision to join in any media venture it launches in the U.S. Hispanic market. Without the limitation of that agreement, Televisa could form a competing TV network to Univision or pursue other opportunities.
However, Televisa is still bound by a programming agreement with Univision that runs until 2017. Televisa filed a lawsuit against Univision in May 2005 to void the programming deal, and it remains in the courts.
Televisa currently holds 11.4 percent of Univision's shares, according to the SEC filing. At the buy-out price of $36.25, the sale of Televisa's shares would yield $1.4 billion.
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