Mexico's biggest broadcaster, Grupo Televisa, has lined up with a group of heavyweight US private equity firms to bid for Spanish-language media company Univision Communications.

Televisa, which already owns 11% of Univision, has teamed with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and Bain Capital to take part in what could be a fiercely contested auction.

Univision, which hung out the 'for sale' sign earlier this year [WAMN: 10-Feb-06], is an attractive proposition for investors.

It reaches the increasingly lucrative Hispanic audience through its two TV networks, a popular cable channel, a chain of radio stations and a Spanish-language music company.

A sale would result in a huge profit for veteran billionaire A Jerrold Perenchio, who along with two partners paid $550 million (€426m; £290m) to buy the cash-haemorrhaging company 14 years ago from Hallmark Cards.

Analysts now say Univision might fetch as much as $14 billion, which would allow Perenchio to pocket more than $1.4bn.

The private-equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group, Texas Pacific Group and Thomas H Lee Partners are also rumoured to be weighing a bid.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff