Tegna confirms acquisition offers
Media reports: Apollo Global Management, mogul Byron Allen offering $8B+
Tysons-based broadcast and digital media corporation Tegna Inc. has received acquisition bids of more than $8 billion from Apollo Global Management Inc. and media mogul Byron Allen, according to media reports. The news comes more than a year after previous purchase proposals fell through in March 2020 amid the dawning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg reported that Allen, owner of The Weather Channel and chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Allen Media Group, teamed up with Ares Management Corp. to offer $23 per share for Tegna. New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global and New York hedge fund Standard General, one of Tegna’s largest shareholders, made an all-cash offer of $22 per share.
Tegna owns 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets and reaches about 39% of all television households nationwide. It was created in 2015 as a publicly traded company after McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, spun off its broadcast and digital media divisions.
“Consistent with its fiduciary duty to Tegna shareholders, the board will carefully review and evaluate these proposals,” Tegna posted in a statement on its website Tuesday. Tegna did not specify which companies made acquisitions bids or the financial terms offered.
In September 2020, Tegna Inc. announced it had raised $550 million in debt financing, which would go to pay outstanding debt. The company said it would to use the net proceeds to repay the entire $350 million aggregate principal amount of its 4.875% senior notes due 2021 and $188 million aggregate principal amount of its 5.5% senior notes due 2024. Tegna also planned to use the funding for the redemption premium on its 5.5% senior notes due 2024, according to a company statement. Earlier this month, however, Tegna announced its $300 million share repurchase program is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, a year earlier than planned.
In March 2020, the Fortune 1000 company announced that two offers to acquire the company had fallen through. Tegna had received four unsolicited acquisition offers, three of which were reportedly worth about $8.5 billion apiece. Offers included a joint proposal from investment firm The Najafi Cos. and religious broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network; and an offer from Allen. Other bidders included private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc. and Gray Television Inc.
Tegna earned $2.9 billion in 2020. The company was enmeshed in a proxy battle earlier this year with Standard General LP, which argued that Tegna did not seriously consider purchasing offers last year.