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Wade Davis, Former Chief Financial Officer of Viacom and Partners Close Acquisition of Univision – Deadline

Searchlight Capital Partners investment firms ForgeLight, founded by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, along with Grupo Televisa of Mexico, announced on Tuesday that they have completed the acquisition of Spanish broadcasting giant Univision.

Davis will be CEO. “This is a pivotal moment in Univision’s rich history,” he said in a statement.

In a deal announced in February, Searchlight and ForgeLight acquired 64% of Univision from a group of investors including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group. Televisa, Univision’s main programmer, will retain its 36%, continue to provide content and serve as a strategic partner to new owners.

Univision appoints four independent directors to its board of directors, buyout nears completion

“We are delighted to be part of this new phase of Univision. Wade’s leadership and Searchlight’s support are the catalysts Univision needs to solidify its position as the leading Spanish-language media in the United States in light of the rapid changes facing the industry. We look forward to an even closer collaboration with Univision to help it implement the many transformation initiatives that Wade has set out to achieve, ”said Televisa co-CEOs Bernardo Gomez and Alfonso de Angoitia.

Univision’s new leadership team plans to use the company’s broad platform and strong portfolio of entertainment, sports and news content to deepen its relationships with the Hispanic community, “building on its established leadership in the Spanish language media, ”he said.

In an interview with Deadline when the deal was announced, Davis highlighted the OTT opportunities. At Viacom (now ViacomCBS), he helped integrate the free streaming service Pluto TV, a very successful acquisition. “It’s really remarkable when you look at the competitive landscape that there isn’t a high-quality, differentiated OTT service for this large-scale audience. … It’s a huge opportunity that is completely open from a competitive point of view.

Univision’s media assets include the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, as well as the Galavisión cable networks and the Spanish sports network TUDN. The company owns or operates 61 TV stations and 58 radio stations, has a series of live events and a strong digital audio footprint as well as its Univision.com website and Univision Now streaming service.

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