Gannett is acquiring Belo Corp. for approximately $1.5 billion. With Gannett’s assumption of $715 million in existing Belo debt, the deal rounds out to being worth nearly $2.2 billion. The boards of both companies approved the acquisition last night.
Gannett will now become the nation’s fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates reaching nearly a third of all U.S. households and nearly doubling Gannett TV stations from 23 to 43, including stations that are part of shared services agreements. Belo stations include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW, stretching from Seattle to Charlotte including affiliates in the big four markets of Texas. When it’s all said and done, Gannett will become the #1 CBS affiliate group, the #4 ABC affiliate group, and will expand its already #1 NBC affiliate group position.
“We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership,” said Gannett CEO Gracia Martore. “We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multi-media company with broadcast, digital and publishing components across high-growth markets nationwide, and this is another important step in the process.”
The deal is 28% premium to the closing price of Belo stock yesterday.