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Nexstar to buy Tribune Media for $4.1 billion

(Reuters) - Nexstar Media Group Inc (NXST.O) said on Monday it had agreed to buy Chicago-based peer Tribune Media Company (TRCO.N) for about $4.1 billion in cash, a deal that would make it the largest regional U.S. TV station operator.

Nexstar said it would pay $46.50 per share, representing a premium of 15.5 percent to Tribune’s closing price on Friday. Tribune shares closed up 11.7 percent at $44.98 on Monday and Nexstar shares closed up 6.9 percent.

The value of the deal was in line with a Reuters report on Sunday.

Including debt, the transaction is worth $6.4 billion.

In August, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc’s (SBGI.O) attempt to buy Tribune in a $3.9 billion deal collapsed over regulatory hurdles.

However, since then the broadcast media sector has seen a flurry of merger talks, amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could relax restrictions on how many stations broadcasters can operate.

Irving, Texas-based Nexstar said the transaction was subject to approvals by Tribune’s shareholders and regulators including the FCC. The company intends to divest certain television stations necessary to comply with regulatory ownership limits.

Nexstar owns, operates and provides sales and other services to 174 television stations reaching nearly 39 percent of all U.S. television households, while Tribune Media owns or operates 42 local television stations reaching approximately 50 million households. ... Read the full article here.

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