Billionaire media and entertainment mogul Jerry Perenchio, who bought Univision and turned the Spanish-language network into a powerhouse, has died. He was 86.
The L.A. Times reports he died yesterday at his Los Angeles home after a five month battle with lung cancer.
Perenchio, who started in the media business as a Hollywood talent agent representing A-list actors such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando and later enjoyed great success as a sports promoter and film and television producer, hit the jackpot when he zeroed in on what he saw was a great opportunity: a struggling Spanish-language television network.
In 1992, Perenchio partnered with Televisa’s Emilio Azcárraga Milmo and Venevision’s Gustavo Cisneros and bought Univision from Hallmark for $550 million, taking the network public four years later.
Perenchio remained Univision’s Chairman and CEO for 15 years, until the company was sold to investor group Saban Capital Group, led by billionaire Haim Saban for $13.7 billion in 2007.
Forbes estimated Perenchio netted $1.1 billion from the sale. At the time of his death his net worth was estimated at $2.8 billion.
In 2014, he bequeathed his $500 million art collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art upon his death.
5/25/17: A day after news of his death, Univision released the following statement:
“Jerry was a media trailblazer, true legend and inspiration to everyone who was lucky enough to meet or work with him. He played a significant role in shaping the media and entertainment industry as we know it today, bringing incredible foresight, compassion and respect for a community — Hispanic America — that sought to be represented and that had never before been served in such a meaningful way. Jerry founded and built Univision from the ground up — his imprint and visionary leadership will always be felt by so many of us at Univision, as well as our community. He leaves a lasting legacy on our Company, and will always be part of the Univision family. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”