UPDATE (Aug. 9, 2018)– The buyout by Sinclair of Tribune Media has been called off. Read more here.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The company that owns and operates CBS4 has just been acquired by America’s biggest owner of local TV stations in a multi-billion dollar deal.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. agreed on Monday to buy Tribune Media Company for approximately $3.9 billion. Sinclair will also assume $2.7 billion in net debt from Tribune.
“The Tribune stations are highly complementary to Sinclair’s existing footprint and will create a leading nationwide media platform that includes our country’s largest markets,” said Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair. “The acquisition will enable Sinclair to build ATSC 3.0 (Next Generation Broadcast Platform) advanced services, scale emerging networks and national sales, and integrate content verticals. The acquisition will also create substantial synergistic value through operating efficiencies, revenue streams, programming strategies and digital platforms.”
Tribune currently operates dozens of TV stations across the country, including CBS4 and our news gathering partners FOX59. Tribune also has a cable network WGN America; a 32% stake in the CareerBuilder web site; and a 31% stake in the Food Network.
“Television broadcasting is even more relevant today, especially when it comes to serving our local communities. Tribune’s stations allow Sinclair to strengthen our commitment to serving local communities and to advance the Next Generation Broadcast Platform. This acquisition will be a turning point for Sinclair, allowing us to better serve our viewers and advertisers while creating value for our shareholders,” said Ripley.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tribune stockholders will receive $35.00 in cash and 0.23 shares of Sinclair Class A common stock for each share of Tribune Class A common stock and Class B common stock they own. The total $43.50 per share consideration represents a premium of approximately 26% over Tribune’s unaffected closing share price on February 28, 2017, the day prior to media speculation regarding a possible transaction; approximately 14% over Tribune’s 30-day volume weighted average closing stock price; and approximately 8% over Tribune’s closing share price on May 5, 2017, the last trading day prior to today’s announcement.