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Televisa: "No Change" in Univision Plan

Mexican broadcast giant Televisa says there is "no change" in its current plans to explore selling its minority stake in Univision Communications, the leading U.S. Spanish-language media company.

That counters a report in The New York Times Thursday that said Televisa executives met with representatives from a private-equity consortium that is seeking to buy Univision for $12.3 billion at the major Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The two sides reportedly discussed Televisa continuing its 11.4% ownership.

In response, Televisa said, "Numerous parties attend the Allen & Co. media conference and, at present, there is no change in Televisa's current plan."

Televisa has been smarting since losing out on a bid to acquire Univision with a separate group of private-equity investors. Since Univision put itself up for sale in February, Televisa was considered the front-runner, but earlier this month, Univision surprised many by accepting an offer of $36.25 per share from a consortium of five private-equity firms, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group. The deal also includes the assumption of $1.4 billion in debt.

The Televisa-led group made one offer, of $35.75 per share, which was rejected, and the group was hampered by several investors dropping out.
After losing out to the rival investment groups, Televisa said it would look to sell its stake and pursue other ventures in the U.S. market. One possible option would be distributing its programming online. Even if it divests, Televisa will still be involved with Univision. Under a deal that runs through 2017, Televisa will continue to supply Univision with the bulk of its programming.