Nexstar Media Group, the parent company of WRBL, announced Monday that it entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media, creating the nation’s largest local broadcasting company.
According to a company news release, Nexstar will pay $46.50 in cash for all shares of Tribune and values the transaction at $6.4 billion, including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt.
“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 Nexstar CEO Perry Sook in the release.
With 216 combined, pre-divestiture full power, owned or serviced, television stations in 118 markets and rapidly growing digital media operations, Nexstar will continue its commitment to localism and innovation and offer superior engagement across all devices, including large-scale reach to U.S. television households and online users, the release said.
“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,” Sook said. “As with our past transactions, we have developed a comprehensive regulatory compliance plan and believe we have a clear path to closing. 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.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Tribune’s shareholders, as well as customary closing conditions, including approval by the FCC, and satisfaction of antitrust conditions. Nexstar intends to divest certain television stations necessary to comply with regulatory ownership limits and may also divest other assets which it deems to be non-core. All after-tax proceeds from such asset sales are expected to be applied to leverage reduction, the release said.