Standard General taking TV station owner Tegna private in $5.4B deal

Associated Press

Standard General is taking television station owner Tegna private in a deal valued at about $5.4 billion.

An affiliate of Standard General will pay $24 in cash for each Tegna share. The transaction has an enterprise value of approximately $8.6 billion, including the assumption of debt.

In premarket trading, Tegna shares rose more than 8% to $22.75. The company said the bid represents a premium of approximately 39% to its closing stock price on Sept. 14, the last full trading day before media speculation about a potential sale of the company.

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The company was formed in June 2015 when it was split off from Gannett Co., which retained its print media business that includes the Detroit Free Press, which publishes under a joint operating agreement with The Detroit News. Tegna, based in Tysons, Virginia, owns 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets, including WZZM (Ch. 13) in Grand Rapids and WTOL (Ch. 11) in Toledo.

Once the deal closes, Tegna stations in Austin (KVUE), Dallas (WFAA and KMPX) and Houston (KHOU and KTBU) are expected to be acquired by Cox Media Group from Standard General.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year. It still needs approval from Tegna shareholders.