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Televisa to Sell Univision Stake

October 11, 2006|From Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa plans to sell its 11% stake in its U.S. partner Univision Communications Inc. after losing a bidding war for the Spanish-language network, Chairman Emilio Azcarraga said Tuesday.

Televisa threw in the towel in mid-September in the battle for Univision, refusing to better a $12.3-billion offer from a group of private equity firms and media mogul Haim Saban. Televisa had offered about $12.1 billion.

Televisa has a long-standing programming deal with Los Angeles-based Univision, but its alliance has turned ugly in recent years, highlighted by constant bickering and a flood of lawsuits. Having failed to buy Univision, it wants out.

Asked what Televisa planned to do with the funds from the sale, Azcarraga said, "We have been very careful with money and obviously our Televisa shareholders are the most important to us." He mentioned the possibility of a dividend.

Analysts estimate Televisa would receive at least $1 billion from the Univision stake sale.

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