Mar 7, 2018

Univision cancels IPO plans, sale process likely

Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos. Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images.

Univision has scrapped its IPO plans, citing "prevailing market conditions." The group also announced that Peter Lori will replace Frank Lopez-Balboa as chief financial officer.

Bottom line: The Spanish-language broadcaster originally filed for its IPO in 2015, but the process has been stalled for some time. Expect it to eventually seek a buyer, with one private shareholder telling Axios that "there are bankers climbing all over them."

Our thought bubble: Univision will face a challenge trying to find a buyer that's willing to pay more than the $13 billion-plus Discovery reportedly offered last year.

Why now? Broad market conditions seem okay, although traditional broadcasters have struggled to retain viewers. Moreover, Bloomberg notes that Univision may lose eyeballs later this year to Comcast-owned Telemundo, when the latter airs the World Cup.

Despite secular pressure, Univision has continued to perform well in prime-time, finishing 2017 as the top Spanish-language network in prime-time for the 25th consecutive year across a key advertising demo of 18-49. It also has maintained a robust digital audience.

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.