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Fox to tune into a deal with Nexstar
Posted on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 12:03
Fox has agreed to buy three US television stations from Nexstar Media Group for around USD 350.00 million.
The Murdoch family-owned broadcaster will acquire Washington-based KCOQ and KZJO, as well as Wisconsin-headquartered WITI.
Fox will also sell two stations in North Carolina, WJZY and WMYT, to Nexstar for USD 45.00 million.
Subject to regulatory approvals, including the green light from the Federal Communications Commission, and closing conditions, the transactions are due to complete in the first half of 2020.
The purchase will help Fox extend Fox Television Stations’ market presence to 14 of the top 15 designated market areas in the US.
Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive of the broadcasting company, said: “The Seattle and Milwaukee markets both overlap with key sports market, creating significant opportunities for growth and collaboration.”
Similarly, the acquisition of WJZY and WMYT will complement Nexstar’s existing activities in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The deal will also provide financial and operating savings for the company’s station portfolio and digital operations.
Nexstar plans to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce borrowings under its credit facilities.
The group’s chief executive, Perry Sook, said the addition of WJZTY and WMYT frees up around 0.7 per cent of its household reach, allowing the business to pursue other deals to strengthen its local market platform and services.
Nexstar is no stranger to divesting its assets; in March, the group agreed to sell off 11 television stations to US-based media company Tegna for USD 740.00 million in cash.
Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 225 deals targeting television broadcasters signed off worldwide since the start of 2019.
The Walt Disney Company, via its acquisition vehicle Diamond Sports Group, agreed to acquire US-based Fox Sports Net for USD 9.60 billion, in the largest of these to date.
Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, Central European Media Enterprises and Persidera were also among those targeted in this sector.
© Zephus Ltd