Nexstar Makes $4.1B Bid to Buy Media General

Updated: Media General’s plan to acquire Meredith criticized

Nexstar Broadcasting offered to buy Media General in a $4.1 billion deal it says would create more value than Media General’s plan to acquire Meredith Corp.

Nexstar said the main advantage of its proposal is that it would create a pure-play broadcasting company versus one that has the low-margin publishing assets owned by Meredith.

“The transaction we are proposing would be a transformational event for both Nexstar and Media General shareholders and would deliver superior, immediate and long-term value to Media General’s shareholders compared with Media General’s proposed acquisition of Meredith,” said Perry Sook, chairman and CEO of Nexstar.

A Nexstar-Media General combination would have 162 stations in 99 markets reaching 39% of the U.S., compared with the Media General-Meredith combination, which would have 82 stations in 54 markets, reaching 30% of the U.S.

The combination would present $75 million in synergies in the first year, compared with the $60 million expected by the Media General-Meredith deal.

The Nexstar bid would pay $10.50 a share in cash and 0.0898 Nexstar shares per Media General share. That’s valued by Nexstar at $14.50 a share, and 30% higher than Media General’s closing stock price on Sept. 25.

Any deal would be contingent on FCC and Department of Justice regulatory approvals.