Univision has reached an agreement to sell certain of its Puerto Rico television stations to Liberman Media Group, a Hispanic media company based in Burbank, California.
Pursuant to the agreement, Univision will sell to Liberman WLII-DT, Caguas-San Juan, and the stations which repeat its signal across the island: WOLE TV-DT, Aguadilla in the Western Area and WSUR-DT, Ponce in the central area.
Univision is not selling, and will continue to operate, sister station WSTE-DT (TeleIsla Channel 7) as well as its radio properties, including Uforia.
Lenard Liberman, the President of Liberman Media Group, has extensive experience in the production of Spanish-language programming, as the former President of Liberman Broadcasting Inc. (LBI) and the Estrella TV network. At LBI, Liberman produced nearly 25,000 hours of televised programming, some now syndicated in Latin America and on streaming services.
Following the close of the transaction, Liberman Media Group plans to continue airing a combination of programming that is locally-produced in Puerto Rico and programming that airs on the Univision and UniMás networks.
Pending customary regulatory review and approvals, the transaction is expected to close before the end of 2020. As previously announced, a group led by ForgeLight and Searchlight Capital Partners has agreed to acquire a 64% ownership stake in Univision. The closing of both transactions is expected to occur at the same time.
“We are confident that the Liberman Media team, as a veteran Spanish-language broadcaster, is the right buyer for these Puerto Rico TV stations,” said Vince Sadusky, CEO of Univision. “We thank our employees at these stations for their hard work and dedication, and we wish them all the best in this next chapter.”
Liberman said, “We are thrilled to acquire these Puerto Rico television stations and excited that we will be entering the market with a seasoned and talented staff from Univision Puerto Rico. We are fully committed to continuing the locally-produced programming that has characterized these stations and is beloved by the audience they serve. With three decades of experience in Spanish-language media, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of stations like these to local communities, and I’m proud that we will continue serving Puerto Ricans with content on which they rely.”
Wade Davis, CEO and Founder of ForgeLight said, “I am delighted that Univision is taking this necessary step towards the completion of ForgeLight and Searchlight obtaining majority control of Univision. The transaction remains on track to close by year-end and I look forward to being part of the Company’s next phase of growth.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.