July 3, 2019 / 8:32 PM / a year ago

Univision exploring options, including sale -WSJ

July 3 (Reuters) - Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc is exploring options, including a possible sale, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The company has hired Morgan Stanley and boutique investment bank LionTree to explore the options, the Journal said on.wsj.com/2RXhCxe, citing people familiar with the matter.

Univision was taken private by a group of buyout firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners, Saban Capital, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, for $12.3 billion in 2007.

Univision filed for an IPO in 2015, but investor appetite for large indebted companies such as Univision soured and those plans have been on hold.

During the delay, the company underwent a restructuring that led to the layoffs of more than 200 employees. It also acquired U.S. internet publisher Gawker Media LLC for $135 million. (reut.rs/2RPzSsj)

In April, private equity firm Great Hill Partners agreed to buy Gizmodo Media Group, which includes Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin and Lifehacker, and The Onion from Univision.

Univision turned down an offer from cable tycoon John Malone in 2017 that valued the company at between $13.5 billion to $15 billion, according to the WSJ report.

Univision declined to comment on the report. Morgan Stanley and LionTree did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. (Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru Editing by James Dalgleish)

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