Nexstar Media Group is buying Tribune Media for $46.50 per share in a cash transaction valued at $6.4 billion, the companies announced Dec. 3. The deal includes the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.

The transaction is not subject to any financing condition and Nexstar has received committed financing from BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Tribune Media’s portfolio of media assets includes 42 owned or operated broadcast television stations in major U.S. markets; cable network WGN America; a 31 percent ownership stake in TV Food Network and equity investments in several digital media businesses.

“With 216 combined, pre-divestiture full power, owned or serviced, television stations in 118 markets and rapidly growing digital media operations, Nexstar will continue its commitment to localism and innovation and offer superior engagement across all devices, including large-scale reach to U.S. television households and online users,” said a release on the deal.

“The transaction offers synergies related to the enhanced scale of the combined broadcast and digital media operations, and increases our audience reach by approximately 50 percent. Furthermore, the addition of the Tribune Media broadcast assets further expands our geographic diversity, as pro forma for the completion of the transaction, we will serve 18 of the nation’s top 25 markets and 37 of the top 50 markets,” said Perry Sook, chairman and CEO of Nexstar, based in Irving, Texas.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Nexstar as it provides Tribune shareholders with substantial value and a well-defined path to closing,” said Peter Kern, CEO of Tribune Media, headquartered in Chicago.

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