Big broadcaster Tegna is in the homestretch of a long and sometimes contentious change of ownership, announcing that its shareholders have approved a sale led by investment firm Standard General.
Stockholders representing some 78% of common stock voted at the company’s special meeting today to approve the deal, according to preliminary results.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. At close, Tegna will become a private company and its shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tegna’s assets include 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets, It’s the largest owner of top 4 network affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups. It also owns multicast networks include True Crime Network, Twist and Quest, and OTT advertising service Premion.
It’s a cash deal for $24 a share. That comes to an equity value of $5.4 billion, or $8.6 billion including the assumption of debt. Interested suitors had included Byron Allen, Gray Television and several other PE firms.
At close, Deb McDermott, CEO of Standard Media will be CEO, replacing Dave Lougee. McDermott currently serves as CEO of Standard Media. She was previously COO of Media General and CEO of Young Broadcasting.
Tegna, based in Tysons, VA, was created in 2015 when Gannett split its broadcast and publishing businesses into two companies.
There’s been a spate of M&A in broadcasting since, including Nexstar acquiring Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcast buying the Fox regional sports networks.