Meredith Agrees to Let Media General Exchange Information With Nexstar

Related: Media General in Driver's Seat to Choose Nexstar's Pure-Play Broadcasting Proposal Over Meredith's Publishing Assets

The Media General-Meredith Corp. merger continues to look more and more unlikely, as Media General announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement with Meredith permitting the mutual exchange of specific non-public information with Nexstar Broadcasting Group.

This agreement will allow Media and General to further asses the unsolicited bid Nexstar made Sept. 28 to acquire Media General for $4.1 billion. Media General will be entering into a confidentiality agreement with Nexstar as soon as possible to begin sharing information.

Nexstar and its president and CEO, Perry Sook, responded to the announcement later on Wednesday.

“We look forward to exchanging information with Media General and to promptly reaching agreement on a transaction that is in the best interests of our respective shareholders,” Sook said. “Since we made our proposal, many Media General shareholders have expressed their support for our proposed combination. The market has reacted favorably and currently values our proposal at $15.00 per Media General share, a premium of approximately 35% over Media General’s share price on the trading day prior to our offer. We believe our proposal is a superior offer to the Meredith-Media General transaction and that the market understands how strategically and financially compelling this combination is for the shareholders of both companies.”

Since announcing its $2.4 billion merger with Meredith Sept. 8 and especially since receiving the Nexstar bid, Media General has received backlash, with many shareholders favoring the Nexstar proposal. Media General announced last week that its board of directors was reviewing and considering the Nexstar bid and the company had retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to help the board evaluate that proposal.

In Wednesday’s press release, Media General said its board of directors continues to recommend the proposed Meredith transaction.