Gray Television, Inc | $GTN Stock | Plans Acquire Raycom Media for $3.6 Billion

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Gray Television, Inc (NYSE: GTN)


Gray Television, Inc. will acquire Raycom Media, Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth $3.6 billion.

The two companies released a joint announcement on Monday saying they have agreed to merge in a deal that will create the largest owner of top-rated local TV stations and digital assets in the United States.

Reuters reported that the transaction will comprise 11.5 million shares of Gray Media’s common stock, $650 million in a series of preferred stock, and $2.85 billion in cash.           –MarketWatch

The merger will create a combined company that is expected to serve 92 markets, with a total of 142 full-power television stations. -Reuters

Jones Day and Cooley LLP served as legal counsel for Gray. The company had hired Wells Fargo Securities as its financial adviser.

Raycom worked with Covington & Burling and Robinson Bradshaw as its legal counsel, and Stonebridge Capital as its financial adviser.

The chief executive officer and president of Raycom Media, Mr. Pat LaPlatney, will be the co-chief executive officer and president of the combined company.

Gray chief executive officer Hilton Howell will be the co-chief executive officer and executive chairman once the transaction gets approved.

The companies expect to close the deal in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 year.

Gray CEO Comments

Hilton Howell issued a statement saying, “Today we announce the transformation of Gray Television into a true leader in the broadcast television industry. Combining our company with the excellent Raycom stations and the superb Raycom employees will create a powerhouse local media operation. Together, this new portfolio of leading local media outlets will excel at what they do best, which is to provide the local news that local communities trust, the entertainment and sports content that viewers crave, and the incredible reach that advertisers demand.”

Indeed, this is a transaction in which there can be no doubt that local community standards will be honored and embraced.  We are excited to welcome the dedicated reporters, account executives, and technologists of Raycom to our growing corporate family.  On behalf of the Board, our employees, and our investors, I convey our deepest gratitude to Jim Ryan and Kevin Latek for leading our efforts on this momentous, transformative transaction,” the CEO concluded.

Gray Television, Inc. Company Profile

Gray Television, Inc. is a television broadcast company that owns and operates digital assets and television stations in the U.S.

The company owned and operated television stations in 56 television markets including channels affiliated with Fox Network, CBS Network, ABC Network and NBC Network as of January 14, 2018.

Gray Television, Inc. was founded in 1897 and its headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Raycom Media, Inc. Company Profile

Raycom Media is an employee-owned television broadcasting company headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama. It owns and/or provides services for two radio stations and 65 television stations (over 16% of US television households) across 44 markets.

The company also owns and operates multiple newspapers in both small and medium-sized markets across the country.

Raycom was founded in 1996 by William Zortman, Stephen Burr, and Ken Hawkins. The company employs more than 4,800 individuals in part- and full-time positions.