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Nexstar Focused On Media General Deal

Nexstar Broadcasting Group kept up the heat on its proposed $4.7 billion purchase of Media General, stating that any attempt by former merger partner Meredith Corp. to thwart the deal will be voted down by shareholders.

The statements were the latest in what has been a swinging pendulum of offers and deals between the three parties over the past four months.

Meredith had agreed to be acquired by Media General in September for $2.4 billion, and two weeks later Nexstar put forth an unsolicited bid for Media General worth about $4.1 billion. On Jan. 7, Media Genera said it had agreed to a $4.7 billion deal to be acquired by Nexstar, which Meredith promptly countered with an increased offer, valued at more than $20 per share.

The Nexstar deal is contingent on Media General terminating its existing deal with Meredith.

In a statement, Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry Sook said his company’s offer is superior, which was supported by Media General’s board of director’s in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.  He added that although he believes Meredith’s refusal to end the deal is “misguided,” Nexstar is not giving up.     

“Should the Meredith management and board persist in taking its acquisition by Media General to a vote of Media General shareholders -- which is expected to occur within the next 60 days -- it will certainly be voted down,” Sook said in the statement. “The fact that Meredith sought to change its transaction terms is a clear admission that our proposal is superior. We intend to take any steps that may be necessary to allow us to consummate our agreed transaction with Media General. We have already reached agreement with Media General on the terms of a transaction, filed a form of merger agreement with the SEC, and have finalized terms with banks ready to provide approximately $4.7 billion in financing in support of the transaction. We expect to quickly sign a definitive agreement with Media General as soon as Media General shareholders vote down the transaction with Meredith (or earlier if a settlement is reached between Media General and Meredith to terminate their merger agreement).”