Univision Acquired by Investment Firm of Former Viacom Exec

Univision is being acquired by two investment firms, ForgeLight, founded by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, and Searchlight Capital Partners. The two firms will work with the remaining shareholder, Televisa, which will keep its 36% stake in the company.

Deadline reported that “the partners said they intend to build on Univision’s recent content and programming momentum to accelerate growth, expand its portfolio of advertising products, substantially enhance its digital presence,” and work with Televisa going forward.

Vince Sadusky, Univision CEO, said “today marks the start of an exciting new chapter with partners that recognize the excellent position Univision is in.”

Until this deal, Univision was controlled by a group of investment groups that has included Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group.

“I’m so proud of everything we have accomplished that has led us to this great outcome. Both Searchlight and Wade are wholly supportive of Univision’s core mission to entertain, inform and empower Hispanic America and fully embrace the commitment and special bond we have with our audience. Our talented operating team has transformed Univision to be strategically, operationally and financially stronger than it has been in years,” Sadusky said.

Along with owning 36% of the company, Televisa also has a program licensing deal that has brought exclusive Spanish language content to Univision. That agreement will not expire unless Televisa choosing to sell its stake in the company, at which point the agreement will last for another 7.5 years.

Davis says he is “honored to be partnering with Televisa and Searchlight to help steward Univision into this next phase. Televisa has a shared history with Univision dating back many years and a deep strategic relationship today. The context, insight and strategic content that Televisa brings to Univision have been key to the company’s success.”

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