Grupo Televisa wants a second chance to acquire Los Angeles-based Univision Communications Corp., the dominant Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, according to a report in the New York Times.
Mexico City-based Televisa has put together an investment consortium to bid $38 to $39 per share for Univision. Televisa's new bid involves Bain Capital LLC and Bill Gates' private equity firm, Cascade Investment LLC, both members of the original consortium, the Times said.
In June, Televisa lost a bidding battle when Univision's board accepted an offer to be acquired by Los Angeles media entrepreneur Haim Saban and his financial backers, including the private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The Saban offer came to $36.25 per share. Univision shareholders will vote on the Saban offer later this month.
Televisa supplies much of Univision's primetime programs but the relationship between the two broadcasters has soured in recent years. In May 2005, two Televisa executives resigned from the Univision board. The Mexican broadcaster later filed a suit over the programming supply arrangement.
A complication for any Televisa bid is a U.S. law that prevents foreign ownership of any more than 25 percent of a domestic broadcaster. That would require the deal to be structured to give Televisa only a minority interest.
Shares in Univision were up slightly to $35.20 in early trading, signaling that another bidding war for the station would be very unlikely.
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