Tribune media has struck a deal to sell its video, music and sports digital data business, Gracenote, to Nielsen for $560 million in cash.
Tribune will retain its consumer-facing Covers.com and ProSportsDaily.com.
Tribune says it will use most of the proceeds from the sale to pay down debt as well as going toward a dividend to shareholders in the first quarter of 2017. Tribune says it will also continue its $400 million stock repurchase plan.
Tribune has only owned Gracenote since 2014, when it bought the company from Sony for approximately $170 million. Gracenote collects, curates and delivers info about TV shows, sports, movies and music for clients including Time Warner Cable, Comcast, DirecTV, Amazon and Apple in the U.S., Europe, India, Latin America and Australia. Tribune cited Gracenote's strong presence in streaming music services, mobile devices and automotive music applications.
Moelis & Company and Guggenheim Securities were financial advisors on the deal.
“We are extremely proud to have grown our Digital and Data business into a vibrant global enterprise, with talented and creative people who deliver outstanding service to blue-chip clients around the world,” said Tribune Media President Peter Liguori. “From a strategic standpoint, however, we are pleased to be streamlining our company so that we can focus even more intently on seizing future opportunities for our local television and entertainment business."
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