Oct 25, 2019

Michael Klein mulls Univision takeover

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Michael Klein, a former Citi banker who now runs his own M&A advisory firm, is considering a takeover bid for broadcaster Univision, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Univision's private equity owners have wanted to exit for years, and Klein has a knack for getting difficult deals over the finish line.

  • But the biggest difficulty here might be Klein justifying the deal to himself: Univision still has over $7 billion of debt tied to its original buyout, is a linear broadcaster with virtually no streaming efforts, and is still trying to recover audience from its yearlong blackout on Dish.

Details: Klein would utilize a publicly-traded, blank-check company called Churchill Capital II, which raised $600 million in its IPO earlier this year. It's unclear if he could add leverage, as Univision still has over $7 billion of debt on its books.

The bottom line: "Klein is one of the world’s top dealmakers, with deep connections throughout the U.S., Europe and Middle East. He is advising Saudi Aramco on its planned IPO and he counseled Dow Chemical Co. on its jumbo merger in 2016 with DuPont," writes Bloomberg.

Go deeper: The battle for the future of Spanish-language TV

Go deeper

The growing focus on environmental justice could influence Biden's platform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The killing of George Floyd in police custody and protests against systemic racism are prompting many green groups to declare their support for racial justice, and one thing to watch now is how this all might influence Joe Biden's platform.

Driving the news: Even before the recent mass upheaval in response to Floyd's death, Biden said he was expanding outreach and eyeing wider plans around environmental justice, or the disproportionate pollution burdens facing poor communities and people of color.

4 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.