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Nexstar says Media General talks stalled as new bid rejected

December 9, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Television company Nexstar Broadcasting said Wednesday it’s at an “impasse” in talks with Media General, which has now rejected two buyout offers from Nexstar.

The two companies said Media General turned down an offer worth around $2.09 billion in cash and stock.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group suggested it is not willing to raise its offer much further.

In a news release, it said the latest bid is “at the limits” of what is reasonable to pay for Media General. Nexstar said Media General wants about $2.38 billion.

Media General said Nexstar first approached its board in August with an offer worth about $2.17 billion, and the current offer undervalues the company. Media General said it’s open to a higher bid.

Nexstar went public with a $1.9 billion offer for Media General in late September and the two companies started negotiating. Media General Inc. rejected Nexstar’s first offer in November.

But Media General had agreed to buy TV station owner and magazine publisher Meredith Corp. in early September for $2.4 billion.

Nexstar says that limits its ability to offer more money for Media General because of a $60 million payment due to Meredith if the sale falls through. Nexstar’s $2.09 billion offer excludes the value of that breakup payment.

Activist investor Starboard Value, one of Media General’s largest shareholders, has urged Media General to negotiate with Nexstar and end its pursuit of Meredith.

Nexstar owns, operates, programs, or provides sales and services to 106 television stations around the country. Media General runs or serves 71 stations.

Meredith publishes about 20 magazines including Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, and AllRecipes, and it also owns and runs 17 TV stations.

Shares of Media General slipped 10 cents to $14.48. They are up 30 percent since Nexstar went public with its offer on Sept. 28. Nexstar shares fell $2.21, or 3.9 percent, to $54.17 Wednesday.

Meredith stock rose 64 cents to $46.26 Wednesday.

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