Hearst Corporation is making a play for the
Hearst-Argyle television stations. It announced it intends to "make a tender
offer for all of the outstanding shares of Series A Common Stock of
Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. (NYSE: HTV) not already owned by Hearst for $4.00
per share in cash."
The offer price represents a premium of approximately
91% over their current price.The offer values the Hearst-Argyle stations at around $375 million-less than a fifth of the valuation from when Hearst made an offer of $23.50 a share in August 2007.
The news has boosted the Hearst-Argyle stock to about $4.10 at presstime-double what it was prior to the announcement.
Hearst, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns some
67% of the outstanding shares of Series A Common Stock and 100% of the
outstanding shares of Series B Common Stock, representing in the aggregate
approximately 82% of both the outstanding equity and general voting power of
Hearst expects to start the offer in mid April, with
offering materials mailed to Hearst-Argyle stockholders.
Hearst Corp. owns 15 daily and 49 weekly newspapers.
Hearst-Argyle owns 29 stations, including WCVB Boston and KOCO Oklahoma City.