Nexstar to buy Media General as Meredith agrees to bow out

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nexstar said Wednesday that it is buying rival TV station operator Media General after Meredith agreed to allow Media General to get out of a takeover bid for Meredith.

Media General had offered to buy media company Meredith in September. About two months later, Nexstar offered to buy Media General.

On Wednesday, Meredith said it agreed to allow Media General to get out of the deal. As a result, Media General will have to pay $60 million in cash to Meredith Corp. Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith operates TV stations and publishes magazines such as Parents and Better Homes and Gardens.

Nexstar said Wednesday that it will pay a mix of stock and cash that worth about $17.14 for each share of Media General, valuing the deal at about $2.2 billion. Nexstar said deal is worth $4.6 billion when debt is included.

When the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the third or fourth quarter of the year, Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. will change its name to Nexstar Media Group Inc.

Based in Irving, Texas, Nexstar operates, programs or provides services to 106 television stations around the country. Media General Inc., based in Richmond, Virginia, operates or services 71 TV stations. Together, the combined company will reach about 39 per cent of U.S. households with televisions, Nexstar said.

Shares of Nexstar fell 94 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $48.20 in midday trading. Media General edged up 10 cents to $16.23. Meredith rose $1.32, or 3.4 per cent, to $40.22.