Media General Inc. agreed to buy Meredith Corp. in a cash and stock deal valued at about $2.4 billion to create the one of the largest owners of U.S. TV affiliates.
Meredith shareholders will receive cash and stock amounting to $51.53 per share, 12 percent higher than the company’s closing price on Sept. 4, the media companies said in a joint statement Tuesday. Including Meredith’s $722 million in debt, the deal is valued at about $3.1 billion.
Media General rose 9.5 percent to $12.21 at 8:48 a.m. New York time, after reaching as high as $17.10 before regular trading. Meredith climbed 13 percent to $51.89.
The new company, led by Meredith’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Lacy, will be called MeredithMedia General. It will reach about 30 percent of U.S. homes with a TV, and will be the third- largest owner of network affiliates, the companies said. While both Media General and Meredith specialize in operating local partners of larger networks -- including 21st Century Fox Inc., CBS Corp., Comcast Corp.’s NBC and the Walt Disney Co.’s ABC -- the addition of Meredith will give the combined company better access to digital marketing and websites to compliment those stations. Meredith publishes magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle and Shape.
Media General shareholders will get a share of the new company for every one they owned in the old business. After the deal, Meredith shareholders will own 35 percent of the new company and Media General’s investors will hold 65 percent.
The deal is expected to close by June 30, 2016, following approval from shareholders and regulators. RBC Capital Markets served as financial advisers to Media General, and BDT & Co. and Moelis & Co. advised Meredith.