TV-station empire Tegna has hit a roadblock in negotiations with admirers who are hoping to purchase the organization in an arrangement worth $8.4 billion, sources near the circumstance said.
Hedge fund Standard General and Apollo Global Management on Nov. 22 raised their fully financed offer for Tegna from $22 to $22.65 a share, valuing the company at roughly $5 billion and also agreeing to assume the company’s $3.4 billion in debt, sources close to the situation said.
Tegna shares on Friday were as of late off 0.3 percent at $19.80 in early evening trades.
The raised bid came after Tegna had neglected to acknowledge or dismiss the underlying deal which was made two months sooner, as indicated by the sources.
A collapse in talks would represent the third time in as many years that Tegna — spun off from newspaper giant Gannett in 2015 as a separate, publicly traded company — has weighed a possible sale only to have it scrapped in the end. The Virginia-based company operates 64 television and two radio stations across 54 US markets.
Lately, insiders say Tegna has requested that the bidders consent to a “hell or high water” condition, which means they would not leave the consolidation regardless of what amount of time it required to overcome controllers. Tegna likewise has requested a higher-than-typical separation expense of about $500 million, sources said.
Standard General and Apollo are OK with the main condition however have countered with a separation expense about half as large, sources said.
Sources said Tegna has voiced worries whether the Standard General and Apollo bid can withstand antitrust examination from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC’s public media possession rule forbids any substance from claiming business TV channels that arrive at in excess of 39% of US TV families across the country.
Tegna’s stations joined with those that Apollo and Standard General currently own would outperform that imprint. Apollo designs however to keep its present stations and Tegna separate, sources said.
There are no other suitors with firm offers for Tegna, insiders said. That includes Byron Allen, the comedian-turned-media-mogul who owns the Weather Channel — who for almost a year has been trying to put together a Tegna bid. While Allen repeatedly said he has the money, he hasn’t yet proven it, according to sources.
Allen declined to remark.
Tegna, in the mean time, has flagged it accepts it is worth more than $25 an offer and arrangements have slowed down.
By year-end, an arrangement will probably meet up or Tegna will declare it is staying public, sources near the circumstance said. The company’s shares which are floating Friday around $20 an offer would probably tumble to about $18 without a deal, a hedge fund manager following the situation said.