Byron Allen Makes $8.5B Cash Bid For Tegna

Media entrepreneur Byron Allen has made an all-cash bid for Tegna and is said to be one of three potential buyers circling the Tysons, Va.-based broadcaster, according to a source familiar with the situation. Allen’s Allen Media Group offered $20 a share, or about $8.5 billion, the source said. It is going up against Gray Television, which last week made a offer, also for $20 a share but in a combination of cash and stock. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which recently acquired stations from Cox, is also said to have made a bid.

Report: Gray In $8.5B Bid To Acquire Tegna

Gray Television has made an offer to acquire larger peer Tegna Inc for approximately $8.5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. A successful bid by Gray would significantly expand its footprint in several TV markets. It underscores the pressure Gray and other companies in the TV station industry are under to gain scale and more pricing power with advertisers and the major networks.

Univision Said To Be Nearing A Sale

Univision Communications is in exclusive talks with a bidding group that includes former Viacom CFO Wade Davis for a sale that could value the Spanish-language broadcaster at close to $10 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

PwC: Media M&A Dropped 27% In 2019

Merger and acquisition activity in the media and telecommunications business slowed in the fourth quarter, leaving dealmaking down for all of 2019, according to a new report from consultant PwC.

ViacomCBS Unlikely to Pursue Starz — For Now

CBS may have previously expressed interest in acquiring Lionsgate-owned Starz, but now that the Eye has merged with Viacom, it’s unlikely that the newly formed ViacomCBS would look to actively pursue the premium cabler in the near term.

Gannett May Be Angling To Buy Tribune Publishing

As Gannett, GateHouse Merge, Cost-Cutting Rules

GateHouse and Gannett say their $1.4 billion merger will allow GateHouse to accelerate its newspapers’ move to digital while paying down huge sums GateHouse borrowed in order to fund the acquisition. But it’s unclear exactly how it will make that happen.

Tegna Confirms Apollo M&A Contacts

According to a statement released by the station group, Apollo has proposed first acquiring Tegna and later merging it with Cox Media Group. Apollo struck a deal to acquire Cox in February, but that deal has not yet closed.

Ross Video Completes Pierro Graphics Purchase

CBS Wants To Grow, Ponders Mergers, Buyouts

The CBS board has decided the company needs to get bigger, but merging with Viacom is not enough for Shari Redstone, who has voting control of both companies. If the CBS-Viacom deal gets done, Redstone’s National Amusements would like to move quickly with a second deal, the people said. Discovery Communications is interested in selling to CBS or a combined CBS-Viacom, according to two sources. Redstone is open to the idea, but would also consider buying other companies, including Sony Pictures and MGM.

Kagan: TV M&A Deals Top $4B In 4Q 2018

In the largest deal of the quarter and yearNexstar Media Group announced on Dec. 3 that it would acquire all of Tribune Media’s assets for $46.50 per share. Kagan estimates the broadcast assets to be worth $3.51 billion.

NEWS ANALYSIS

New House Could Be Threat To Mega-Mergers

With the Democrats taking control of the House when the new session starts Jan. 3, lawmakers and media players are re-adjusting their strategies and preparing for a slew of new hearings and investigations. Democrats have already started to circle their wagons around Nexstar’s proposed purchase of Tribune Media.

ACA: Without Conditions, Nexstar-Tribune Should Be Nixed

As expected, the American Cable Association has called on the government to cast a critical eye on the proposed $6.4 billion merger of Nextar with Tribune and says that without tough conditions and or divestitures, the deal should be blocked.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Nexstar-Tribune Poses Test For Trump Regulators

Nexstar Media Group’s deal to buy Tribune Media Company for $4.1 billion is the latest merger to test Trump administration regulators tasked with overseeing a rapidly consolidating media industry. Nexstar doesn’t have the same political baggage as Sinclair, but critics are just as concerned about its proposal to consolidate so many local news outlets across the country under one umbrella.

UPDATED, MONDAY, 12:55 PM ET

Nexstar To Spin Off $1B In Stations

The spinoffs necessary for regulatory approval will include stations in at least 13 of 15 markets: Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City; Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Smith, Ark; Davenport, Iowa; Memphis, Grand Rapids, Mich; Indianapolis, Huntsville, Ala; Hartford, Conn.; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Richmond, Va; and Norfold, Va. Nexstar CEO Perry Sook says he expects those spinoffs will sell for around $1 billion.

Nexstar Buying Tribune In $4.1 Billion Deal

Nexstar Media Group has reached an agreement to acquire Tribune Media for about $4.1 billion, a deal which would make it the largest local U.S. TV station operator, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Sinclair Hits Another Merger Dead End

Sinclair, which suffered a blow in July when federal regulators stopped its proposed $6.6 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, has been quietly speaking to buyout firms, including Apollo Global Management, about teaming on a new bid for the Chicago-based rival. But so far, it continues to be shut out of the high-stakes media consolidation game and hasn’t been successful in shaping a buyout-backed offer, two sources say.

The Local TV Consolidation Race Is Here

Changes in decades-old broadcasting rules, combined with new types of competition in news and entertainment, are creating a drama-filled free-for-all as local U.S. broadcasters consolidate. Consolidation will inevitably mean that fewer voices reach more people, but some in the industry argue it’s the only way local broadcasting will be able to compete with big tech.

Feds: No More ‘Anything Goes’ M&A Deals

Did an AT&T price hike spark a Department of Justice appeal? Even if the telecom’s Time Warner acquisition ultimately is upheld, uncertainty threatens to impact everything in Hollywood, from the pending Fox sale to the auction for Sky.

Sky Shares Leap As Comcast, Fox Lock Horns

Sky shares shot up to an 18-year high on Thursday as investors bet a transatlantic battle for the European pay-TV group had further to run, after Comcast’s $34 billion bid trumped an offer from Rupert Murdoch made just hours earlier.

M&A

Nexstar Stock Rises On Buyout Talk

Shares of Nexstar Media Group soared Wednesday after Reuters reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management had approached the second largest broadcast station owner in the U.S. about a possible buyout.

M&A

Apollo Makes Overture To Buy Nexstar

Buyout firm Apollo Global Management has approached Nexstar Media Group, an operator of television stations that reach nearly 40% of U.S. households, to express interest in acquiring it, according to people familiar with the matter. The approach comes a year after Nexstar’s $2.3 billion acquisition of peer Media General turned it into one of the largest U.S. broadcasters.

Media M&A Forecast Well Over $140B

It’s only July, but mergers and acquisitions in the media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sectors are on track to surpass 2016 and 2017 full-year levels. That’s according to investment bank JEGI, which counted 950 transactions during the first half of 2018. Excluding the Time Warner and Twenty-First Century Fox mega-deals, those transactions are worth roughly $140 billion.

Fox Shareholder Sues To Stop Disney Buy

The sale of 21st Century Fox’s studio assets to Disney has triggered the first lawsuit from a shareholder, who complains about what was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The putative class action seeks to enjoin the transaction.

Murdoch May Get Billions More By Picking Disney

Cash may be king but Walt Disney Co.’s stock-based offer for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets could give it a $3.5 billion edge over Comcast Corp.’s rival bid.

Viacom Turns Down CBS Merger Offer

Viacom has rejected CBS’s initial acquisition offer, a source close to the company has confirmed. The all-stock offer to bring the companies back together was understood to be below Viacom’s market value, which is a departure from the way most acquiring companies typically start the process.

CBS Plans Viacom Deal Proposal In Few Days

CBS Corp. is preparing to make an initial merger proposal to Viacom Inc. within days, people with knowledge of the matter said, setting the stage for negotiations that could bring the media companies back together 12 years after they were split up. The proposal, from CBS’s independent board committee to its counterpart at Viacom, is likely to include an opening suggestion on valuation as well as leadership plans for the combined entity, the people said.

TownNews.com Acquires Field59

The purchase expands TownNews.com’s broadcast capabilities and offerings, including broadcast quality video available for their desktop, mobile, and OTT applications.

Meredith To Sell Time, SI, Fortune, Money

The magazines, some of the most celebrated titles in the industry, clash with the lifestyle publications favored by Meredith, which bought Time Inc. last year.

Comcast, Murdoch In Regulatory Race For Sky

Comcast’s gatecrashing of Rupert Murdoch’s eight-year campaign to buy pay-TV group Sky has sparked a regulatory race with 21st Century Fox .

Discovery Closes Scripps Networks Buy

Discovery Communications said Tuesday it has formally closed its $14.6B acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, creating a powerhouse of unscripted programming that CEO David Zaslav says will dominate the space it calls “real-life entertainment.”

Discovery Gets Govt. OK For Scripps Deal

Discovery says the DOJ had concluded its investigation into the proposed merger, clearing the way for the deal to close.

Will Comcast Offer Lead To Sky Bidding War?

“The market is predicting a much higher offer,” notes one analyst, while another predicts “it is likely Fox will now walk away.”

Zucker Wants Probes Of Google, Facebook

CNN boss Jeff Zucker has called upon advertisers and tech firms to help find new way to monetize news content on mobile platforms, and on authorities to pay closer attention to the power wielded by Google and Facebook, as news providers try to adapt to the changing digital landscape.

Liberty Media Offers $1B For 40% Of iHeart

Certain lenders and noteholders of iHeart Media on Monday said John Malone’s Liberty Media proposed to buy a 40% stake in a restructured version of iHeart for $1.16 billion. The offer comes less than a month after struggling radio station owner iHeart skipped a $106 million interest payment, triggering a 30-day grace period to buy more time to restructure its $20 billion debt and avoid bankruptcy.

Comcast $31B Bid Takes On Murdoch For Sky

Comcast is offering 22.1 billion pounds ($29.50 billion) for Sky. The proposed cash offer values each Sky share at £12.50, which represents a 16% premium to the bid made by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

AT&T Demands Trump Merger Talk Records

AT&T is demanding that the Justice Department hand over additional evidence to prove that President Trump did not wield political influence over the agency as its antitrust enforcers reviewed the company’s bid to acquire Time Warner.

Murdoch Pledges Independent Sky News

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox pledged to keep Sky News independent and continue funding the loss-making channel for five years, in an attempt to overcome British regulatory concerns over its $15.7 billion takeover of pay-TV firm Sky.

Comcast Mulling New Bid For Fox Assets

Comcast is considering a new offer for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox assets, despite an agreement in December to sell them to Walt Disney Co for $52.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast’s deliberations indicate that it believes it still has a chance to clinch a deal with Fox, even though its previous bid last year for more than $60 billion was rejected over concerns that regulators worried about media consolidation could thwart it, the sources said.

EC Approves Discovery’s Scripps Acquisition

Discovery Communications said today that the European Commission has cleared its $14.6 billion acquisition of the Food Network and HGTV owner Scripps Network Interactive. The European regulatory body agreed the deal on the condition that Discovery continues to offer third-party distributors the right to broadcast Scripps’ Polish channels TVN24 and/or TVN24 BiS in the country.