Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) announced January 11 that the FCC has granted the applications and related waiver requests seeking consent to transfer control of licenses held by subsidiaries of Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) (“Media General”) from the shareholders of Media General to Nexstar. The FCC further granted the divestiture applications that have been filed to bring Nexstar into compliance with the local and national television ownership rules. In addition, the Commission waived prohibition on the consummation of the transaction during the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, which remains ongoing.
On January 27, 2016, Nexstar and Media General entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Media General in an accretive cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $4.6 billion. Other than customary closing matters, Nexstar and Media General have completed all of the steps and satisfied all of the merger agreement conditions necessary to finalize the planned transaction including securing Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice and Hart-Scott-Rodino approval, entering into agreements to divest stations to achieve ownership and other regulatory compliance approvals (with the result being an expansion of station ownership in the U.S. by minority operators upon closing), securing approvals from each company’s respective shareholders and putting in place substantially all of the necessary financing.
Commenting on the announcement, Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group stated, “We appreciate Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC Commissioners’ work, as well as the work of the FCC staff, in granting the approval of the Media General transaction. Upon closing the transaction Nexstar will continue its initiatives across the combined entity to deliver superior, unique local content and services to viewers and businesses in each of the communities it serves. Over the last two decades we have grown Nexstar based on our commitment to deliver exceptional service to the local communities where we operate, expansion through accretive acquisitions, enhanced operating results of acquired stations and digital media properties, and an overarching focus on localism. To this day, this focus has been fundamental to our success and we intend to extend our legacy of delivering exceptional service in our markets and increased value to our shareholders when the highly accretive Media General transaction is complete.”
In Michigan, Nexstar will acquire WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) and WLNS-TV (Lansing). Nexstar already owns a third Michigan television station, WJMN-TV (Marquette).
No date has yet been announced for closing.