Shares in local TV station owner Tegna jumped more than 7% today after a report it is in advanced talks to sell itself to Standard General, one of its largest shareholders.
Private equity giant Apollo Global Management, a longtime investor in local TV, would provide financial backing in exchange for preferred shares, according to the report in Bloomberg. The companies involved declined to comment.
Tegna, a smaller but still potent rival to Nexstar and Sinclair, has been the subject of numerous M&A scenarios in recent years, including previous offers by Standard General and Apollo. Byron Allen, whose Allen Media has bought a number of stations over the past couple of years, had also made a bid for Tegna.
Stock in Tegna ended the day at $21.34, its highest level since last November, on more than triple its normal volume of trading. The upswing gave the company a market value of $4.7 billion.
After the markets closed, Tegna also announced it has reached a distribution deal with Dish Network, ending a 4-month blackout on the satellite operator’s system.
In its announcement of the pact, Dish noted that it took effect just before the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl were getting set to air this month on NBC. Of Tegna’s 64 stations, many are NBC affiliates in major markets.
Brian Neylon, group president of Dish TV, said the deal “benefits all parties,” including customers. He added, “I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we worked through the negotiations.”
Lynn Beall, EVP and COO, media operations, echoed the sentiment, affirming that the deal restored “our valuable and important live local news, live local and national sports and highly popular network content to Dish TV subscribers.”
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