Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is buying Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) for $1.5 billion, adding to a potential M&A wave in television stations. 

The purchase price works out to $13.75 per share in cash. Belo’s shares closed at $10.73 on June 12, before the deal was announced, and opened at $13.67 on June 13.

Gannett will assume $715 million in debt through the deal. 

Belo is a television company that owns and operates 20 television stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and the CW.

The buyer is a media and marketing services company that owns a network of broadcast, mobile and publishing properties. The deal expands Gannett’s current broadcast portfolio from 23 stations to 43 stations.

The deal is subject to antitrust, Federal Communications Commission and shareholder approvals.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC provided financial advice, while Nixon Peabody and Paul Hastings served as Gannett’s legal counsel. RBC Capital Markets LLC was Belo’s financial adviser, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz provided legal advice.

The deal follows another television station merger agreement. In May, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) and Fisher Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: FSCI) announced a merger valued at $373 million. In June, Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG) announced it would merge with New Young Broadcasting Holding Co. Inc. 

For more M&A coverage in the broadcasting space see “Private Equity Perspective: The RLJ Rule,” “Freedom Communication Sells TV Stations” and “For Media M&A, Christmas Comes Early.” 

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