Gray Television Said To Withdraw Bid For Tegna

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Gray Television is said to have withdrawn its bid for Tegna.

The company had offered $20 a share, or $8.5 billion in combined cash and stock for Tegna. Its bid was followed by identical offers from private equity giant Apollo Global and Byron Allen’s Allen Media – both all cash offers, also for $8.5 billion.

Those offers appear to still be on the table.

Gray’s move was reported by Reuters. The company could not be immediately reached for comment. Allen Media declined to comment, as did Tegna. Apollo couldn’t be immediately reached.

A source familiar with the matter sad Tegna has fully engaged and provided diligence to all three bidders.

A large Tegna shareholder Standard General has put up an alternate board slate of five new members in opposition to the company’s nominees, indicating it was necessary to ensure the company properly consider all offers.

Gray is smaller than Tegna, which made the deal a stretch in the best of circumstances. And with shares plummeting in a volatile market shaken by coronavirus fears, a stock component in an acquisition offers may have been problematic.

Gray stock surged nearly 17% to $10.92, indicating investors are relieved.

Tegna shares were flat at $14.99.

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