BY Fraser Tennant
In a deal which makes it one of the largest regional TV station operators in the US, Nexstar Media Group, Inc is to acquire Tribune Media Company in a transaction valued at $6.4bn.
The definitive merger agreement will see Nexstar acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune Media for $46.50 per share in a cash transaction, including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt.
The combination of two leading companies with complementary national coverage will reach approximately 39 percent of US television households. Furthermore, the combined entity will be among the leading providers of local news, entertainment, sports, lifestyle and network programming through its broadcast and digital media platforms.
“We have 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 chief executive of Nexstar. “We have thoughtfully structured the transaction in a manner that positions the combined entity to better compete in today’s rapidly transforming industry landscape and better serve the local communities, consumers and businesses where we operate.”
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Nexstar as it provides Tribune shareholders with substantial value and a well-defined path to closing,” said Peter Kern, chief executive of Tribune Media. “Together with Nexstar we can better compete by delivering a nationally integrated, comprehensive and competitive offering across all our markets. We believe this combination will produce an even stronger broadcast and digital platform that builds on the accomplishments of both companies and benefits our viewers and advertisers.”
The transaction is not subject to any financing condition and Nexstar has received committed financing for the transaction from BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019, the Nexstar/Tribune Media transaction is subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Mr Kern concluded: “I look forward to working closely with the Nexstar team to deliver on the value of this compelling combination and to ensure a smooth transition and integration of our companies.”