Univision disclosed in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday that the board of Televisa, which has an 11.4% stake in Univision, held a meeting April 27 and authorized the company's top executives to pursue securing a greater share of Univision.
Univision put itself up for sale in February. Speculation has been rampant about which U.S media or investment groups might be interested in bidding for Univision and whether Televisa will pursue a partnership with any of them. Televisa can't buy the entire company due to U.S. rules against a foreign company acquiring more than 25% of a U.S. broadcaster, but as the biggest provider of Univision's most successful programming, Televisa is a key part of any deal.
Televisa said in a statement: "The board of directors of Televisa held a meeting on April 27, 2006 and authorized Emilio Azcarraga, chairman of the board, president-CEO of Televisa, and Alfonso de Angoitia, exec VP of Televisa, in their judgment to enter into a group with others and to make a plan or proposal for a transaction with Univision which, if successful, would involve an increase in Televisa's minority shareholding of Univision."
Televisa declined to comment further.
Separately, Carlos Slim Domit, the son of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, bought another $102 million of Univision stock -- about 1% of the U.S. Hispanic broadcaster -- through a company he controls, Univision's SEC filing reported. Just a couple weeks earlier, Mr. Slim Domit bought a 2.79% stake in Univision for $288 million through one of the companies his family controls, Inmobiliaria Carso.
Making the whole Univision auction process even stranger, Mr. Slim Domit is already a shareholder in Grupo Televisa and sits on the Mexican media group's board.