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Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
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Media General to buy LIN in deal worth $1.6 billion

Media General, the parent company of WFLA, Channel 8, in Tampa, is buying fellow TV broadcaster LIN Media in a deal worth about $1.6 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Friday.

The combined company would own and operate or service 74 stations across 46 markets, reaching about 26.5 million households.

Media General said that it has offered about $27.82 for each LIN Media share, representing an 87 percent premium over LIN’s Thursday closing stock price. LIN shareholders will own about 36 percent of the combined company.

Vincent Sadusky, LIN’s president and CEO, will become president and CEO of combined company. Media General Chairman J. Stewart Bryan III will continue to serve in that position. The company will take the name Media General and remain based in Richmond, Va.

The combined company’s board will consist of 11 directors, seven of which will be picked by Media General and four of which will be selected by LIN. Sadusky will get one of LIN’s four spots.

Under the agreement, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, LIN shareholders can receive either $27.82 in cash or 1.5762 shares of stock in the combined company for each of their LIN shares. About $763 million is available for the cash portion of the deal.

The deal also includes about $968 million in assumed debt.

Shares of Austin, Texas-based LIN Media LLC jumped $6.37, or 30 percent, to $27.86 in morning trading on the news, while Media General Inc. shares rose $1.73, or 10 percent, to $19.07.

RBC Capital Markets has agreed to provide Media General with $1.6 billion in financing for the deal.

Media General, a former owner of The Tampa Tribune, sold 63 daily and weekly newspapers to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway for $142 million in May 2012. The Tribune and its associated properties, which were not part of that transaction, were sold five months later to Los Angeles-based Revolution Capital Group for $9.5 million.

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Media General to buy LIN in deal worth $1.6 billion