Two of the biggest Spanish-language media companies in the world are now officially united in fiscal matrimony.
Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. and Univision Holdings II Inc. (together with its wholly owned subsidiary, Univision Communications Inc.) on January 31 completed their merger — a transaction between the Mexico City and New York-headquartered companies that effectively melds Televisa’s media content and production assets with those of Univision.
The new company takes the name TelevisaUnivision Inc. and creates one of the world’s leading Spanish-language media and content companies, joining PRISA on an Iberoamerican level of content distribution and advertiser opportunities.
“TelevisaUnivision will produce and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while also providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally,” the companies said on Monday.
“The close of our transaction marks a historic moment for our company and our industry,” said TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis. “We are combining two iconic and market-leading companies that have a rich, shared history and an incredible portfolio of assets. This combination will create a business without comparison in the global media landscape. Over the past year both companies have transformed themselves, reaching levels of financial performance and audience resonance that has not been seen for years. The power and momentum of the transformed core business is truly unique and will be a springboard for the upcoming launch of the preeminent Spanish-language streaming service. The new trajectory of our company is supported by our new ownership group, which is well positioned to amplify the efforts of one of the best leadership teams in the world.”
Alfonso de Angoitia, Executive Chairman of the TelevisaUnivision Board of Directors, added that the combination of content assets from Televisa and Univision has created a company with “tremendous potential,” adding, “With our attractive financial profile and history of innovation, TelevisaUnivision is ready to revolutionize the industry by delivering the most comprehensive Spanish-language content offering to audiences around the world.”
In Mexico, Televisa’s four broadcast channels and 27 pay-TV channels, Videocine movie studio, and Blim TV subscription video-on-demand service are heritage brands; the television channels in recent years have come under intense pressure thanks to competition from TV Azteca and, to a more limited extent, satellite channels.
Univision’s assets in the U.S. include the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 59 television stations and 57 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets, and the fast-growing PrendeTV AVOD platform.
As a result of the combination, TelevisaUnivision reaches over 60% of the respective TV audiences in both the U.S. and Mexico. Across television, digital, streaming, and audio, the company reaches over 100 million Spanish speakers each day.
Integration and Position as One Company
Since announcing the transaction on April 13, 2021, Univision and Televisa have each transformed their core businesses in anticipation of the integration.
Ahead of that deal, Univision under Wade Davis has helped steer the company to new ratings and revenue riches.
This included widening and strengthening a long-standing partnership between the two businesses, mainly for content.
According to the newly combined company, Univision’s advertising revenue through the first nine months of 2021 increased by 32.6%, returning “significantly” beyond 2019 levels, while Televisa’s advertising revenue for the same period increased by 24% year-over-year.
Meanwhile, TelevisaUnivision remains on track to launch its previously announced unified global streaming service in 2022, which will include both a free and a premium subscription tier. The service will have the largest offering of original Spanish-language content in the U.S. and Latin America, including dramas, comedies, docuseries, game shows, reality shows, variety programs, movies, musical and cultural events, children’s and educational programs, sports and special events, as well as trusted news programming.
- Wade Davis will lead TelevisaUnivision as CEO
- Alfonso de Angoitia will serve as Executive Chairman of the TelevisaUnivision Board
- Marcelo Claure will become Vice Chairman of the Board
The TelevisaUnivision Board will also be comprised of Emilio Azcárraga, Bernardo Gómez, Michel Combes, Gisel Ruiz, Oscar Muñoz, Maria Cristina “MC” Gonzalez Noguera, Eric Zinterhofer and Jeff Sine. In addition, Televisa retains the right to appoint two additional directors.
Content production and operations in Mexico will be led by Bernardo Gómez and Alfonso de Angoitia, Co-Chief Executive Officers of TelevisaUnivision Mexico, who also remain co-Chief Executive Officers of Grupo Televisa. Grupo Televisa’s news operations in Mexico will become part of a new, independent company dedicated to producing news for TelevisaUnivision’s networks in Mexico, and will be led by Emilio Azcárraga, Executive Chairman of the Grupo Televisa Board of Directors.
The company’s new investors include SoftBank Latin America Fund, Google and The Raine Group.
For Univision: Guggenheim Securities and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisors; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel; and Covington & Burling LLP served as regulatory counsel.
For Televisa: Allen & Company acted as financial advisor; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes, S.C. served as legal counsel; and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP served as regulatory counsel. LionTree Advisors LLC rendered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of Televisa.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP served as legal counsel to the SoftBank Latin America Fund.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP served as legal counsel to The Raine Group.