Univision Communications IPO
A file photograph of the Univision and Fusion television networks' newsroom in Florida, US.Reuters

Spanish language media owner Univision Communications (UCI) has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to lead an initial public offering that could value the US-based Spanish-language broadcaster at $20bn (£13.2bn, €18.7bn).

The planned floatation could hit the markets in the second half of 2015 and raise over $1bn, valuing the New-York headquartered firm at as much as $20bn, including debt, Reuters reported.

Several other banks have also been tapped to support the underwriting group, the report added.

Pursued by the news agency, Univision and spokespeople for the banks refused to comment.

UCI owns a highly rated Spanish language broadcast network that, at times, beats English language broadcasters such as NBC in the primetime ratings race.

It also runs broadcast channel UniMas, alongside cable networks and Spanish radio stations.

Univision raked in an annual net revenue of $2.91bn in 2014, up from $2.63bn a year ago.

Mexican media firm Grupo Televisa, which began investing in Univision in 2012, currently owns an 8% stake in the US broadcaster and has purchased debt that could be converted into a stake of up to 30%.

A public share sale could see Univision's private equity owners cash out their investments.

Univision was taken private by a group of American buyout firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Saban Capital, Thomas H Lee Partners and TPG Capital, for $12.3bn in 2007.