updated 6/23/2006 8:40:20 PM ET 2006-06-24T00:40:20

A consortium of investors led by Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa SA made an offer Friday to acquire Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. that exceeds a bid of about $10.7 billion submitted by a rival investor group, a person familiar with the offer said.

The Televisa group’s bid is more than the roughly $35 a share proffered Wednesday by the competing investor group, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the negotiations.

The person declined to disclose the amount of the Televisa group’s offer but said it was fully financed. The bid was submitted to Los Angeles-based Univision about 2 a.m.

The bid came after the investment arm of Venezuelan broadcaster Venevision dropped out of the consortium, Venevision spokeswoman Antonieta Lopez said.

She declined to say why the company, which already owns a 14 percent stake of Univision, opted out but conceded the Univision auction “has been kind of a rocky road this week.”

“Relations with Televisa are still excellent as always and the options are open,” Lopez said. “This is not the closing of this process; this is just the first chapter.”

The departure of Venevision, a unit of The Cisneros Group of Companies, followed the defection of three private equity partners earlier this week: Blackstone Management Associates V LLC; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP & Co., and Carlyle Investment Management LLC. The firms reportedly dropped out over concerns about the amount of the proposed bid.

Televisa currently owns an 11 percent stake in Univision. Like Venevision, it is a key supplier of Univision programming.

The remaining partners in the Televisa group were private equity firms Bain Capital Partners LLC and Cascade Investment LLC, which invests for billionaire Bill Gates.

The rival investor group consists of private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, Providence Equity Partners Inc., Texas Pacific Group Inc. and media mogul Haim Saban.

Univision dominates the U.S. Hispanic media market through its three television networks — Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision — more than two dozen television stations, a recorded music division, Internet portal and Spanish-language radio stations.

Since the conglomerate put itself on sale in February, Wall Street analysts have estimated it could sell for $11 billion to $12 billion.

The auction had a troubled start this week with the shakeup within the Televisa consortium.

Then the rival group made its bid, but Univision said it needed to increase the offer. Univision has reportedly been seeking an offer of $40 a share.

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