Investor Says Media General ‘Dragging its Feet’ With Nexstar Offer

By Kevin Eck 

Starboard Value LP says Media General is “dragging its feet” in entering into negotiations with Nexstar.

Starboard, which has a 4.5 percent stake in Media General, has made it clear it wants Media General to take the Nexstar deal. Media General is already in the process of buying Meredith in a deal valued at $3.1 billion.

In a September letter to Media General chairman J. Stewart Bryan and CEO Vincent Sadusky, Starboard says it’s not hard to see why there was a 10.5 percent dip in Media General’s stock price after the announcement, given Media General is buying a larger company with “less desirable business mix” and then letting Meredith’s management team run the show. “This type of transaction structure is unconventional, at best,” writes Starboard. “And upon closer investigation, appears to be contrary to the best interests of your shareholders.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tuesday, Starboard told Bryan and Sadusky that talking to Nexstar wouldn’t “impair” the Meredith deal and could bring the best offer.

Starboard repeated its warning that it was open to “any and all” actions, including a proxy fight, to make sure a Nexstar offer is fully explored.