July 10, 2018 / 7:25 PM / a year ago

Mexico's Televisa says still considering spinning off units

FILE PICTURE; The logo of broadcaster Televisa is seen outside its headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico, July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Televisa may need five more months to come to a decision about whether to spin off some divisions or keep the company intact.

Televisa, the biggest producer of content in Spanish, said on a call discussing its second-quarter results on Tuesday that it is still actively reviewing its corporate structure and will conclude the process before the end of this year.

“This is a very important decision for Televisa, and we are taking our time,” said Co-Chief Executive Alfonso de Angoitia, who recently succeeded longtime leader Emilio Azcarraga. He added that the deliberations would come down to whether “Televisa will be more valuable as a whole, as it is today, or whether the pieces would be more valuable.”

Televisa also spoke of potential spin-offs during calls with analysts in February and April.

The company may opt to list its cable business, investment bank Itau BBA wrote in a note to investors.

Televisa reported on Monday that second-quarter profit tripled as it sold off a valuable stake in a Spanish media group Imagina and benefited from strong World Cup viewership.

Like many broadcasters, Televisa has suffered in recent years from declines in advertising as viewers increasingly embrace streaming services.

De Angoitia also said the company was encouraged by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s comments on free speech after his landslide victory earlier this month.

“We strongly wish the president-elect a successful term,” he said. “If he is successful, Mexico and also Televisa will do very well.”

Reporting by Julia Love; additional reporting by Sheky Espejo and Christine Murray; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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