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Sinclair Broadcast Group's spending spree continues, as it
has agreed to acquire the Fisher Communications stations for $373.3 million.
Fisher owns 20 TV stations in eight markets, reaching almost 4% of the U.S. It
also owns three radio stations in its Seattle home market.
"We are excited to acquire Fisher and expand our
coverage westward, especially in the two key markets of Seattle (DMA No. 12)
and Portland (DMA No. 22)," commented David Smith, president and CEO of
Sinclair. "Started in 1910, Fisher's history of operating television and
radio stations in the northwest corner of the U.S. has played an important role
in its communities and in producing high-quality local news. We look forward to
expanding upon those traditions and improving the cash flow of the stations
through the benefits that come with our scale."
The transaction is subject to FCC approval and is expected
to close in the third quarter.
"Sinclair is the largest independent TV broadcaster in
the country, and we believe its commitment to the industry -- along with its
greater scale and sizable resources -- will provide our stations, team members
and business partners with new opportunities to flourish," said Colleen B.
Brown, Fisher president and CEO.
The stations, clustered in the northwest, include KOMO-KUNS
Seattle, KATU-KUNP Portland and KBOI-KYUU Boise.
Sinclair has been by far the most active broadcaster in
terms of M&A, acquiring Freedom Broadcasting, Four Points Media, part of
Newport Television and Barrington Broadcasting, among others, within the past
Moelis & Company LLC was financial advisor
and White & Case LLP was primary legal counsel for Fisher in the deal.