What Nexstar Broadcasting’s attempt to buy Media General means for Meredith Corp merger
Nexstar Broadcasting Group offered to buy Media General for $1.9 billion, putting itself in the way of an anticipated merger between Media General and Meredith Corp., USA Today reports.
Nexstar is proposing $10.50 per share in cash and 0.0898 Nexstar shares per Media General share, valuing the latter company at $14.50 per share, which is 30% higher than its closing stock price on Friday. The total value of the transaction would be $4.1 billion, including Media General’s debt.
Earlier this month, Media General agreed to merge with Meredith Corp. in a deal valued at $3.1 billion, including Meredith’s debt. Although the deal was already agreed upon, the Media General shareholders still have the opportunity to opt out if they decide that they prefer the Nexstar deal.
Nexstar CEO Perry Sook wrote a letter in August addressed the Media General’s board chairman, J. Stewart Bryan, and CEO, Vincent Sadusky, privately offering to buy the company:
The combined company’s significantly expanded audience reach and portfolio diversification would be highly attractive to programmers and advertisers alike. We strongly believe a combination of Media General and Nexstar is far more compelling strategically and financially than your planned acquisition of Meredith.
He said that he was rejected two weeks later with no explanation.
Media General said in a statement on Monday that the company would carefully consider the offer, but added that the board still recommends the Meredith merger deal.