Tegna Stock Soars 27% on Report of $8.5 Billion Takeover Bid by Gray Television

Tegna is actually the larger company

Last Updated: March 6, 2020 @ 7:57 AM

Good morning, Tegna shareholders! Stock in the U.S. regional-TV station owner opened +27% on Friday on news of an $8.5 billion takeover bid, including debt, from rival Gray Television.

Interestingly enough, Tegna is actually the larger of the two similar companies, though it plays in fewer markets. Gray Television’s market cap is $1.6 billion. Tegna’s is $2.9 billion. Gray’s debt is $3.8 billion, Tegna’s is $4.2 billion.

Reuters UK reported the news of the bid, which breaks down to about $20 per share in cash and stock.

“Tegna’s policy is not to comment on market rumors,” a spokesperson told TheWrap for this story.

Gray Television did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the Reuters report.

Shares of Gray Television opened up a few percentage points themselves today.

Last week, Tegna and Gray actually announced an OTT (over-the-top) partnership. The strategic move saw Gray acquire a minority ownership in Tegna’s connected TV and OTT advertising business, Premion. Gray is now selling Premion in its 93 television markets.

Tegna, which says Premion’s revenue in 2019 topped $100 million and is on a double-digit growth path, exists in 51 markets.

The footprints of Gray and Tegna do crossover in some markets. Gray Television, which generally covers smaller markets, reaches 24% of U.S. households. Tegna, the larger-market company, reaches 39%.

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