The bidding war for the Spanish-language television network Univision was one of the greatest private equity stories of last year. Now the winners of that auction–including, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners and media mogul Haim Saba–are on the hunt for a CEO. Choosing the right man to run a company is one of the things that private equity firms pride themselves on doing very well. According to the New York Post, the owners of Univision are very close to naming their man.
The announcement is expect in a week or two, and despite rumors it seems unlikely that Univision will be run by former Mexican president Vincente Fox. So who is going to run Univision?
From the Post
Univision is viewed as having strong talent internally, including current CFO Andy Hobson and President Ray Rodriguez.
But Univision’s new owners are believed to be looking for a high-status bilingual exec with close ties to Mexico.
Leave your best guess in the comments section below. No points for answering “George W. Bush.” He has other commitments until at least 2008.
Univision Narrowing Search For CEO
Forbes has a suitably colorful take on what appears to be the end of the Univision auction:
A suitor makes a bid for the object of his affections. He is spurned. The brokenhearted hero vows not give in without a fight.
It’s the kind of plot line one might find in one of the many telenovelas produced by Grupo Televisa (nyse: TV – news – people ) for Univision Communications (nyse: UVN – news – people ), the dominant Spanish-language television company in the U.S. And in an example of life imitating melodramatic art, Univision has rejected a buyout offer from Televisa, prompting the Mexican broadcasting company to pronounce its intention to press on.
Somebody cue the violins.
Reuters is reporting that Team Grupo CCB–the investor group made up by Mexico’s Grupo Televisa, Venezuelan media investor Gustavo Cisneros, Bain Capital and Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment fund–submitted a bid for Univision today. The bid is said to top an earlier bid by a group of investors known to DealBreaker readers as Team Power Rangers. Further details are unknown at this point but if you have a clue feel free to send a tip to Tips(at)DealBreaker(dot)com.
Televisa group submits Univision bid, shares rise [Reuters]
Univision’s auction got dicier this morning on news that KKR and Blackstone were dropping out of the consortium they had formed to bid on the US’s largest Spanish language media company. The official story is that KKR and Blackstone had “valuation differences” with the rest of the group, meaning they couldn’t agree on how much Univision was worth. CNBC is saying that a bid will come today from the rest of Grupo KKRCCBB.
Univision Sale Set Back as KKR, Blackstone Drop Out
The bids for Univision , the largest U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster, were due yesterday, although reports say more may be coming. Since there are nearly a dozen different firms participating in the bidding, we thought it might help to set down exactly who is working with whom.
A group consisting of Haim Saban, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Texas Pacific Group submitted an offer yesterday. Haim Saban made his fortune with the Might Morphin Power Rangers, and later by selling The Fox Family network, a joint venture with Fox Television, to Disney. Haim, Providence and Tommy Lee teemed up in 2003 to finance the acquisition of the largest private television network in Germany. We’re calling them Team Power Rangers.
The main competing group has not yet submitted a bid. It is made up Grupo Televisa, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Cisneros Group, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Bill Gates backed Cascade Investment. The Carlyle Group was part of this contingent but has been said to have dropped out. We’re calling them Grupo KKRCCBB.
Univision Shares Fall; Bids May Be as Low as $11 Bln [Bloomberg]