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Mexico: FCC clears Mexico’s Televisa to own 49% Of Univision

 |  January 4, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission has cleared the way for Mexico’s giant media conglomerate Televisa to own a much bigger stake in US Spanish-language network Univision.

In a declaratory ruling issued on Tuesday, the FCC approved a joint petition filed by both companies in July of 2016 to increase it stake from Televisa’s current 14.4% voting interest and 10% equity of Univision to a total of 49%, proclaiming the “increased level of foreign investment in Univision will facilitate investment from new sources of capital in Univision that would not otherwise be available and encourage reciprocity by foreign governments.”

In its Public Interest Analysis, the FCC states: “The Petitioners have also shown how grant of the application will further Univision’s service to the Hispanic community and other minority communities and advance its empowerment initiatives….no parties have opposed the petition for declaratory ruling or asked for conditions to be placed on it. Therefore, we find that grant of the petition for declaratory ruling will serve the public interest.”

This is a victory for Televisa and billionaire Emilio Azcárraga Jean, whose grandfather, Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, helped found what is now Univision. In essence, a big chunk of Univision returns to a founding family that had been trying to regain control of the US company it was forced to divest due to foreign ownership limits 30 years ago.

Televisa is also seeking “specific approval” for Azcárraga Jean to hold voting and equity interest greater than 5% in Univision.

The Mexican broadcaster invested $1.2 billion into Univision in 2010. That led to an ownership stake and three seats on the US company’s board of directors, including one for Azcárraga Jean. That deal gave Televisa a 5% stake and the option to convert the rest of the debt to 30% of Univision shares, as well as the right to buy an additional 5% of the company five years later.

Full Content: Forbes

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