March 29, 2019 — Hughes Hubbard is serving as legal advisor for antitrust issues to TEGNA in its acquisition of 11 television stations from Nexstar Media Group.
The acquisition is part of Nexstar's divestiture of 19 television stations for $1.32 billion in cash to clear antitrust hurdles for its megadeal to buy Chicago's Tribune Media Co. for $4.1 billion.
TEGNA announced on March 20 that it will pay $740 million for the 11 stations in eight markets, including Memphis, Tennessee and Hartford, Conn. E.W. Scripps is acquiring the other eight stations in seven markets for $580 million, including CW affiliate WPIX in New York.
The deals are contingent on Nexstar completing its acquisition of Tribune Media, which is expected to close by the end of this year following federal regulatory review. Nexstar plans to use the proceeds from the station divestitures to finance the Tribune acquisition and reduce debt.
"TEGNA has a proven track record of acquiring highly attractive assets that create immediate value for shareholders through significant synergies," said TEGNA CEO Dave Lougee. "These stations are an excellent strategic and financial fit and bring additional geographic diversity to our portfolio of leading stations."
Lougee also noted that the deal gives TEGNA more advertising connected to the 2020 presidential election, with additional stations in battleground-state markets, including Harrisburg, Penn. and Des Moines, Iowa.
Virginia-based TEGNA was formed in June 2015 when media giant Gannett Co. spun off its publishing business under the same name and renamed its broadcasting and digital division TEGNA. With 49 television stations and two radio stations in 41 markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide.
The announcement made headlines in Bloomberg, Reuters, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Law360 and other media outlets.
Bill Kolasky and Kristin Millay are working on this matter.