CHICAGO (UPI) — The Tribune Co. said it had reached an agreement to buy 19 televisions stations in 16 markets from Local TV Holdings in a $2.73-billion all cash deal.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that the deal that includes television stations in Denver, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Cleveland, is expected to make Tribune Co. the owner of more television stations than any other firm in the country.
It is also the first major purchase made by the Tribune Co. since it emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2012, the Times said.
“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune — it makes us the No. 1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” said Tribune Chief Executive Officer Peter Liguori in a statement.
The deal requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission, but if it goes through, it would increase the Tribune’s presence in states that have in recent years attracted substantial advertising revenue from political campaigns, including Ohio and Virginia, the Times said.
Local TV’s major shareholder is Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity firm.