Univision said its board of directors is “reviewing strategic options” for the Spanish-language media giant, which could include the sale of the company.
Univision has been struggling with debt and increased competition from Comcast’s Telemundo unit.
Last year, Randy Falco left as CEO and was replaced by Vincent Sadusky. A parade of other senior managers also left Univision, including its top programming and sales executives.
“After a successful year under the leadership of our new management team, including a complete refocus on our core Spanish-language media business, it is abundantly clear that Univision’s strategic value has never been greater,” the board said in a statement.
“As the last major independent broadcast media company in the U.S., a market where scale and strength matter, Univision has the fundamentals for continued growth on its own or with a partner – and after careful consideration, the Board and management team have concluded the time is right to explore strategic options,” the board said.
Univision borrowed $13.7 billion when it went private in a leveraged buying in 2006. Its investors are led by media mogul Haim Saban and Televisa, which supplies programming to Univision.
Univision reportedly turned down a bid from John Malone worth between $13.5 billion and $15 billion in 2017. It also unsuccessfully tried to go public again with an initial public offering that would have valued it at $20 billion.
The company also tried to get into the digital media business by buying assets including The Onion and Gawker. Those were later sold off.
“Univision is strategically, operationally and financially strong, having refocused on serving our core consumers, as well as our advertising and distribution partners,” said Sadusky.
“Over the past year, Univision has gained momentum as it has divested non-core assets; strengthened programming; secured long-term distribution deals and valuable sports rights; increased investment in news, sports, local, and digital offerings; and materially strengthened its balance sheet,” Sadusky said. “The current environment favors scale and cross-platform offerings, and we believe those major media companies that fail to recognize and capitalize on this unique opportunity in Spanish-language media will be left behind.”
The company has hired Morgan Stanley and LionTree as financial advisors.
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