Providence Equity Partners, parent of Newport Television,
has deals in place to unload 22 stations: 12 to Nexstar, six to Sinclair, and
four to Cox -- a trio of pacts totaling $1 billion.
Nexstar's batch, which includes stations in Salt Lake City
and Memphis, is for $285.5 million. The Sinclair-headed group went for $412.5
million and the Cox stations for $302 million. Newport said the sale price
represents a broadcast cash flow multiple of 10.5x and aggregate last 12 months EBITDA multiple of
Nexstar gets KTVX-KUCW Salt Lake City, WPTY-WLMT Memphis,
WSYR Syracuse, WETM Elmira, WIVT-WBGH Binghamton and WWTI Watertown, along with
digital services outfit Inergize Digital. Mission Broadcasting, which has a
management deal with Nexstar, gets KLRT-KASN Little Rock. "The Newport transaction is a transformational event for Nexstar from a strategic and operational standpoint and will bring very significant free cash flow accretion to the company immediately upon closing," said Perry Sook, Nexstar chairman, president and CEO.
Sinclair gets WOAI San Antonio, WHP Harrisburg, WKRC
Cincinnati, WPMI-WJCT Mobile and KSAS Wichita, along with the rights to program KMTW Wichita and WLYH Harrisburg. "In the past year, we have announced the acquisition of 23 television stations, representing the addition of almost $1 billion in assets," commented David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "The Newport stations acquisition is consistent with our focus of adding "big four" affiliates in mid-sized markets and strengthening our in-market positions."
Cox Media Group gets WAWS-WTEV Jacksonville and KOKI-KMYT
Newport continues to pursue a sale of its five remaining
stations: KGET Bakersfield, KGPE Fresno, WHAM Rochester, WXXA Albany and KMTR
"These divestitures are the result of a thoughtful
strategic review process conducted by the board to maximize value at
Newport," said Sandy DiPasquale, Newport president and CEO, "and we
believe these high quality stations will have a bright future with their new
owners. Nexstar, Sinclair, and Cox are well-suited to foster continued success
at each of these stations. We and our partners at Providence appreciate the
hard work and dedication of all the employees at our television stations."
Newport came to be after Providence Equity Partners closed on its
acquisition of the former Clear Channel stations in 2008.