Nexstar to Buy Tribune for $4.1 Billion

The deal, including debt obligations, will make The Company the largest Operator of local television stations in the U.S

Perry Sook leads Irving-based Nexstar, which plans to acquire Tribune Media in a $4.1 billion merger agreement.

Nexstar Media Group has agreed to acquire Tribune Media Co. for an estimated $4.1 billion, $6.4 billion including debt. A deal that will make Nexstar the largest TV station operator in the United States.

The Texas-based Nexstar currently operates 100 television stations in 58 markets, covering about 18 percent of U.S. TV-watching households. Both Parties made the deal official early Monday morning.

The deal comes on the heels of a failed proposed takeover of Tribune by Sinclair Broadcast Group. A deal valued at $3.9 billion which was later canceled, leading to a Lawsuit filed by Tribune seeking "compensation for all losses incurred as a result of Sinclair's material breaches of the merger agreement. Sinclair is currently the largest operator of Local television stations in the United States.

"We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Nexstar as it provides Tribune shareholders with substantial value and a well-defined path to closing," said Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern. "Together with Nexstar we can better compete by delivering a nationally integrated, comprehensive and competitive offering across all our markets. We believe this combination will produce an even stronger broadcast and digital platform that builds on the accomplishments of both companies and benefits our viewers and advertisers."

He added: "The premium value our shareholders are receiving reflects the hard work of our dedicated Tribune employees in maximizing the value of our portfolio. I look forward to working closely with the Nexstar team to deliver on the value of this compelling combination and to ensure a smooth transition and integration of our companies."

Said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar: "Nexstar has long viewed the acquisition of Tribune Media as a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate value to shareholders of both companies. We have thoughtfully structured the transaction in a manner that positions the combined entity to better compete in today’s rapidly transforming industry landscape and better serve the local communities, consumers and businesses where we operate."

He added: "The transaction offers synergies related to the enhanced scale of the combined broadcast and digital media operations, and increases our audience reach by approximately 50 percent. Furthermore, the addition of the Tribune Media broadcast assets further expands our geographic diversity, as pro forma for the completion of the transaction, we will serve 18 of the nation’s top 25 markets and 37 of the top 50 markets."