Analyst Looks at What Tribune Assets Are Worth

Ryvicker says stations could be sold piecemeal
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After Tribune Media announced Monday that it was “exploring strategic alternatives” including sales of its businesses, analyst Marci Ryvicker took a look at those assets to figure out what they might be worth—and who might want them.

In a report Tuesday, Ryvicker put the value of Tribune’s stations at between $5.03 billion and $6.8 billion.

She valued cable network WGN America at between $196 million and $237 million. Tribune’s 31% stake in Food Network is worth between $1.5 billion and $2.1 billion, she figures.

Tribune’s digital assets were worth between $506 million and $658 million.

Related: ‘All Options Are on the Table’ for Tribune, Even Selling TV Stations

Tribune has an asset value of between $7.1 billion and $10 billion and an equity value of between $3.7 billion and $6.5 billion.

Are there buyers out there, Ryvicker asks.

She notes that Tribune owns stations that cover about 44% of U.S. households, above the current ownership cap of 39%. That means the stations would have to be sold piecemeal “and yes there would be interested buyers,” she says.

With WGN America she asks who would want another general entertainment network, and her answer is I don’t know. (Maybe she should get a Magic 8-Ball.)

Scripps Networks Interactive has said it is standing by to buy Tribune’s stake in Food at the right time and at the right price.

Overall, Ryvicker was impressed with Tribune’s fourth quarter earnings report, which outside of special charges and programming writeoffs beat most analysts’ forecasts.

“We think management is making the right long-term decisions and we think sentiment will turn once there is clarity on the success of WGNA,” she says.

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