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Univision Chairman to Sell 20.4 Million Shares

Securities: The sale will decrease A. Jerrold Perenchio's stake from 40% to 20%.


A. Jerrold Perenchio, chairman of the nation's leading Spanish-language television broadcaster, has filed to sell more than $750 million worth of his stock in the company, Los Angeles-based Univision Communications Inc., the company said Wednesday.

The sale of 20.4 million shares of Univision will decrease Perenchio's holdings from 40% to 20% of the company. He will still retain 78.5% of the voting power of all stock, down from his current 92%. An additional half a million shares are being sold by former Univision executive Jaime Davila.

Univision spokeswoman Anne Corley said the company could not elaborate on the announcement. Eight investment banks, including Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, BT Alex. Brown and Goldman, Sachs & Co. will act as representatives for the public offering.

The announcement came one day after a two-for-one Univision stock split took effect.

In November, Univision's primary competitor, Miami-based Telemundo Group, agreed to be acquired by a co-venture that included Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Corp. The move gives Telemundo greater programming and distribution clout, which it needs to compete with the higher-rated Univision.

Perenchio is 94th on the latest Forbes 400 list of the nation's richest people. He worked for MCA in the late '50s, and later went into business with producer Norman Lear. He made nearly half a billion dollars selling his programming interests to Coca-Cola in 1985. Along with major Latin American investors, he bought Univision from privately held Hallmark Cards Inc. in 1992.

Univision shares fell $1.88 to close at $36.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last month, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Univision President Henry Cisneros was indicted for allegedly making false statements to the FBI before joining the Clinton administration. Cisneros last week pleaded not guilty to the charges, which are expected to be tried in November. Perenchio has said that Cisneros will remain in his position during the trial process.

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