Streamer Gray television Monday acquired a small family business Quincy Media for $ 925 million in cash as part of a deal that will bring it with stations in 102 markets reaching more than 25% of U.S. TV households.
Atlanta-based Gray said Monday its portfolio will include the top-ranked stations in 77 markets and the top or second in 93 markets according to Comscore’s all-day average ratings for 2020.
Gray stocks were up 2.7% to $ 17.51 by mid-morning.
“We are honored and touched to have been chosen by Quincy shareholders to acquire their great business,” said Hilton Howell, Jr., Executive Chairman and CEO of Gray. “Gray will become a stronger company with an even larger platform of high quality television stations to better serve the public interest first.”
The deal follows a series of acquisitions in the resort’s space in recent years that have turned groups like Nexstar, Sinclair and EW Scripps into giants. Recently, Allen Media entered into broadcasting agreements.
“Many of our shareholders, board members and employees are descendants of two families who have been in the company for 95 years and in the media business for over 100 years. The goal has always been to serve our communities with the best of information, public service and community engagement. It’s a heritage we’re very proud of, ”said Ralph Oakley, CEO of privately-held Quincy, Illinois, which has local digital stations and platforms in 16 markets, primarily in the Midwest.
The companies noted that Gray and Quincy both retain local control over programming and operational decisions, including in local news operations, programming, community engagement and public service.
Gray said the stations it will acquire are:
WPTA (ABC / NBC) and WISE (CW) in Fort Wayne, Indiana (DMA 104)
WEEK (NBC / ABC / CW) in Peoria, Illinois (DMA 118)
WREX (NBC / CW) in Rockford, Illinois (DMA 132)
KBJR (NBC / CBS) and KDLH (CW) in Duluth, Minnesota (DMA 136)
KTIV (NBC / CW) in Sioux City, Iowa (DMA 147)
KTTC (NBC / CW) in Rochester-Mason City, Minnesota-Iowa (DMA 156)
WBNG (CBS / CW) in Binghamton, New York (DMA 158)
WVVA (NBC / CW) in Bluefield-Beckley, West Virginia (DMA 162)
WGEM (NBC / FOX / CW) in Quincy, Illinois (DMA 172)
To satisfy regulators, Gray will divest Quincy stations in markets where it has overlapping stations, including Tucson, Arizona, Madison, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a few others.
Wells Fargo Securities will market the stations to third parties in transactions which may be cash sales, station exchanges, or a combination of the two.
Gray to acquire Quincy’s Heroes & Icons subsidiary WSJV in South Bend, Indiana and WGEM (AM) / – FM in Quincy, Illinois.
Gray will not acquire Quincy’s press business, which will be divested prior to closing. It intends to finance the operation, net of the proceeds of the sale, with cash and / or new debts. Wells Fargo has provided a debt financing commitment for an additional loan to fund up to the total purchase price of $ 925 million.
Gray predicts that its strong free cash flow generation throughout 2021 will allow it to continue deleveraging after closing and expects the total leverage ratio, net of all cash and net of sales proceeds. sales, which is approximately 4 times greater than the operating cash flow for the eight quarters. to flow.