UNIVISION LAUNCHES ‘UNIVISION MUSIC GROUP’
Establishes Music Recording and Publishing Company Through Purchase of 50% Interest in Disa Records, A Leading Independent Spanish-Language Label
Will Build on Platform ThroughExclusive Distribution and Worldwide Licensing Agreement With Universal Music Group
Los Angeles, Calif., April 18, 2001 - Univision Communications Inc. (NYSE: UVN) announced today that it has entered the music recording and publishing businesses through the creation of the Univision Music Group. The new Univision division will be led by music industry veteran, José Behar, and will be headquartered in Los Angeles. Univision has also reached an agreement to acquire a 50% interest in Monterrey, Mexico-based Disa Records, S.A. de C.V., the second largest independent Spanish-language record label in the world, from the Chávez family. The Chávez family will maintain a 50% ownership in Disa Records and will continue to manage the business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Univision also announced that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal (Paris Stock Exchange and NYSE: V), in the United States and Puerto Rico, and an exclusive licensing agreement with Universal outside the United States and Puerto Rico. Disa Records has also reached a distribution agreement with Universal in the United States and Puerto Rico. In Mexico, Disa Records will continue to function as a fully integrated record label.
“Univision’s entry into Spanish-language music is a natural extension of our business and clearly positions the Company as a broad-based, multifaceted entertainment company,” said A. Jerrold Perenchio, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Univision. “Our agreement with Disa, which has a successful history of representing many of the leading regional Mexican artists, combined with our exclusive arrangement with Universal Music Group, will give Univision an immediate presence in the music industry and an outstanding platform to leverage our strong brand and reach throughout the world.”
“Our agreement with Univision will provide us with the resources to accelerate Disa’s growth and become a natural destination for all of Mexico’s regional music artists,” said Patricia Chávez, Chief Executive Officer of Disa Records. “We are proud to be partnering with Univision, whose reputation among the Hispanic community is second to none, and look forward to working together to meet the world’s increasing demand for Spanish-language music. Along with the clout of Univision, we are thrilled to have Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, as our distributor in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.”
Disa Records currently represents more than 50 artists, including Los Angeles Azules, Grupo Bryndis, Liberación, El Poder del Norte, Los Cardenales de Nuevo Leon, Los Askis, Los Llayras, Palomo, Rayito Colombiano, Miguel y Miguel, Los Reyes del Camino, Luis y Julian, Viento y Sol, Hector Montemayor, La Tropa Ballenata and Vagon Chicano. The Company also has a vast editorial library as well as an extensive music catalog that contains masters from such artists as Los Temerarios, Bronco, Los Acosta, Los Traileros del Norte, Tropical Panama, Samuray and many other artists.
Perenchio continued: “I am also pleased that José Behar will lead the new Univision division. His track record in the Spanish-language music industry is unparalleled, having launched and built EMI’s extremely successful Latin music label. José has also been credited as one of the pioneers in the Latin music crossover movement. We are delighted that he will spearhead this endeavor and look forward to his leadership as we continue to provide the growing Hispanic community with additional first-rate entertainment offerings.”
Zach Horowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Group said, “We are delighted that Univision and Disa have chosen to form this strategic alliance with the Universal Music Group. The arrangement makes Universal the clear No.2 distributor of Latin music in the U.S. The Chávez family has already built Disa into a powerhouse and the label is poised for even greater growth with the clout of Univision and Universal’s distribution company behind it. We are also thrilled to help in the launch of the new Univision record label. José Behar has proven himself especially adept at developing Latin artists with international appeal. Our new global arrangement with him and Univision will allow us to participate in their success.”
“I have always admired Univision for its efforts to advance the interests of the Hispanic community,” said Behar. “I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to be part of a Company with such an outstanding reputation for producing quality entertainment for the Spanish-speaking world and look forward to helping the Univision Music Group grow into the premier music and publishing company.”
Prior to joining Univision, José Behar was President and Chief Executive Officer of EMI Latin Records from 1989 to March 2001. Under Behar’s leadership, EMI Latin was responsible for discovering and/or developing the careers of such top talents as Selena, Jon Secada, Barrio Boyzz, Intocable, Kumbia Kings, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Carlos Ponce, Oscar De La Hoya, Graciela Beltran, Vico C, Millie, Thalia, Carlos Vives, JYVE V and Ednita Nazario, among others, in addition to special projects such as the 1996 Olympics CD, Voces Unidas, an all-star lineup of Latin superstars featuring Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo.
Univision Communications Inc. (NYSE: UVN), the leading Spanish-language television broadcast company in the United States, reaches 92 percent of U.S. Hispanic households through its owned-and-operated stations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language television network in the U.S.; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 12 full-power and 7 low-power television stations, including full-power stations in 11 of the top 15 U.S. Hispanic markets; Galavision, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network and Univision Online. Univision is headquartered in Los Angeles, with network operations in Miami and television stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States.
About Disa Records, S.A. de C.V.
Disa Records is a privately held record label founded and managed by the Chávez family of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Under the expert direction of Domingo Chávez Moreno and German, Mauricio and Patricia Chávez, and as a result of management’s ability to discover and develop new artists, over its 30-year history Disa has evolved from a regional company to a successful global record label.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations. Universal Music Group consists of record labels A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Jimmy and Doug’s Farmclub.com, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.
Forward Looking StatementThis press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that may affect Univision’s future success and growth. Actual results may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties as described in Univision’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Univision assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information contained in this press release.