Univision nears sale to group including former Viacom executive

After, at the end of January, the names of the main interested actors in acquiring Univision Communications Inc were reported, The Wall Street Journal informed last Friday that the investment fund headed by Wade Davis, former Viacom CFO, with Searchlight Capital Partners capitals, is the favorite to complete the operation.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition operation would be valued at around USD 10 billion. Reuters also reported that the consortium led by the former Viacom CFO and the Searchlight Capital investment fund ‘are leading attempts to acquire Univision, after presenting the highest bid at an auction’.

Davis was appointed Viacom’s CFO in 2012, although he was previously in charge of strategic planning and the company’s M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) for seven years. The executive left the company at the end of 2019, once the merger between Viacom and CBS took place.  

Univision is owned by investment funds Madison Dearborn Partners, TPG, Providence Equity Partners, Saban Capital Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, together with Televisa, who also has a stake. In January, Bloomberg had reported interest in its acquisition by Liberty Global, Hemisphere and the Platinum Equity investment fund, in addition to Davis’s offer. Searchlight Capital Partners is an investment fund with offices in New York, London and Toronto, and has a stake in Hemisphere.