Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to acquire the Four Points Media stations from Cerberus Capital Management for $200 million. The stations are KUTV-KMYU Salt Lake City, KEYE Austin, WTVX-WTCN-WWHB West Palm Beach and WLWC Providence.
The transaction is subject to CCC approval, and the two companies anticipate it closing in the first quarter of 2012.
"We are very excited about the acquisition of the Four Points television stations and welcome their employees into Sinclair," commented David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "The stations, which are in prime middle-markets, are a perfect complement to our portfolio of assets and TV footprint."
The station acquisition market has been freakishly quiet since the recent recession. The Sinclair-Four Points deal represents the largest in years.
Smith said the acquisition "will allow us to capitalize on operating synergies, including adding these stations under certain existing contracts, leading to both additional earnings and free cash flow next year. We estimate that on a pro forma basis with these synergies this transaction will grow cash flow by an incremental low teen percentage rate in 2012."
Chris Matson, CFO of Four Points, said the transaction is in the best interests of both companies, and of viewers. "We expect that the Four Points stations will integrate quite well with Sinclair's portfolio and should benefit from being a part of one of the leading U.S. broadcasting companies," he said.
Nexstar has a deal in place to provide services to the Four Points stations for $2 million a year. Efforts to reach Sinclair and to Nexstar regarding the fate of that arrangement were not returned at presstime.