Friday, April 21, 2017

Sinclair To Acquire 14 TV Stations In 8 Markets

Sinclair Broadcast Group Friday announced it has struck a deal to buy Bonten Media’s 14 stations in eight markets for $240 million—a move that comes amidst reports that the group is also nearing the purchase of Tribune Media.

Broadcasting&Cable reports the deal would give Sinclair ownership of stations in the Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va. market; Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.; Chico-Redding, Calif.; Missoula, Mont; Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas; Butte-Bozeman, Mont.; Eureka, Calif; and San Angelo, Texas. Four Cunningham Broadcasting stations operated by Bonten are included.

Completion of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") and antitrust clearance, as applicable.  The Company anticipates that the transaction will close and fund with cash on hand in the third quarter of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of the closing conditions.

The Bonten and Esteem stations covered by the transaction are:

(1) Represents television designated market areas ("DMAs") according to the Nielsen Company.  The numbers in the column represent the ranking in terms of size of the DMA out of the 210 generally recognized DMAs in the United States.
(2) KCFW is a simulcast of KECI

"We look forward to welcoming the Bonten employees into the Sinclair family and are pleased to be growing our regional presence in several states where we already operate," commented Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair.  "We believe our economies of scale help us bring improvements to small market stations, including investments in news, other quality local programming, and multicast opportunities with our emerging networks of Comet, Charge! And TBD."  

Including the Bonten station acquisitions, all previously announced acquisitions, and pro forma for expected synergies, the Company's 2015 and 2016 media revenues would have been $2.236 billion and $2.620 billion, respectively.  The $240.0 million purchase price represents a 6.7x multiple and is expected to be on average approximately $25 million accretive to our free cash flow on an annualized basis1.

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