(Bloomberg) -- The chief executive officer of Univision Communications Inc., soliciting takeover offers for the Spanish-language media giant, made an urgent plea to potential buyers: Act now or regret it.
On an earnings call Wednesday, Vincent Sadusky cited the growth that Hispanics are providing to the U.S. economy -- and the lack of big media assets to reach that audience -- as reasons why the company should be attractive to bidders.
As part of the sales pitch, he noted that Univision rival Telemundo was bought by NBC nearly two decades ago and has remained part of the Comcast Corp.-owned business ever since.
“You’ve got to give this thing a good hard look,” Sadusky said. “It will trade one time and if you don’t execute on that opportunity I believe the opportunity is lost forever.”
Univision said last month it is seeking bidders as part of a plan to explore strategic options. But the company has failed at past efforts to arrange a sale, and it scrapped an initial public offering in March 2018.
Since then, Univision has taken steps to streamline its operations. It sold off digital businesses such as Gizmodo Media Group, which included the online brands Jezebel and Deadspin. That could make it more appealing to potential bidders.
The broadcaster has struggled financially since a 2007 leveraged buyout, and it still carries a heavy load: It finished 2018 with $7.4 billion in debt. In 2017, Univision rejected an offer from cable TV billionaire John Malone that valued the company at $13.5 billion to $15 billion.
On Wednesday, Univision posted a 4% drop in second-quarter revenue, hurt by a decline in ad sales. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization dropped 14% after the company spent more on sports and news programming.
To contact the reporter on this story: Gerry Smith in New York at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.