Nexstar Media Group has reached an agreement to acquire Tribune Media Co. in a deal that will create the largest operator of local TV stations in the United States.
Irving, Texas-based Nexstar said in a statement that the terms of the deal call for it to assume Tribune’s debt as part of the acquisition, taking the total value of the deal to USD 6.4 billion. The deal has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Chicago-based Tribune Media’s portfolio of media assets includes 42 owned or operated broadcast television stations in major U.S. markets. The portfolio also includes WGN America, a 31 percent ownership stake in TV Food Network and equity investments in several digital media businesses.
“Nexstar has long viewed the acquisition of Tribune Media as a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate value to shareholders of both companies,” said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar, in the company’s statement. “With committed financing and a plan for significant synergy realization that will result in only a minimal increase in Nexstar’s pro-forma leverage, the combined entity will be poised for growth, leverage reduction and increased capital returns for shareholders.”
Earlier, it was reported that investment firm Donerail Group and newspaper publishers McClatchy Co. and AIM Media all submitted bids to buy Tribune.
Tribune Media in August withdrew from a USD 3.9 billion merger deal with Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. Lawsuits were subsequently filed by both parties with charges of breach of contract for the uncompleted agreement.― The Business Journals