By Helen Coster and Krystal Hu
(Reuters) – Media entrepreneur Byron Allen has raised $10 billion in most well-liked fairness and debt for his bid for U.S. regional TV station operator Tegna Inc, hoping to prevail over a rival provide from funding companies Apollo International Administration Inc and Normal Common LP, individuals acquainted with the matter mentioned.
The financing is backed by a consortium of 14 banks and 10 buyers, together with Ares Administration Corp, Fortress Funding Group, Oaktree Capital Administration and Michael Milken’s household workplace, one of many sources mentioned.
Ares is main a $2.2 billion most well-liked fairness funding in help of Allen’s financing package deal, one other of the sources added.
Tegna might select a profitable bidder as early as this month, the sources mentioned.
Spokespeople for Tegna, Apollo, Oaktree and Michael Milken declined to remark.
Allen, who acquired the Climate Channel TV community for $300 million in 2018, made a $23 per share provide for Tegna in September, whereas Apollo and Normal Common provided $22 per share, in line with individuals acquainted with the matter.
Tegna needs each bidders to lift their provides, one of many sources mentioned. It additionally expects assurances from each bidders that they’ll entertain all regulatory calls for mandatory to finish the acquisition, and views the Apollo/Normal Common bid as more than likely to lift antitrust considerations, the supply added.
Apollo owns 33 TV stations in 20 markets by means of its portfolio firm Cox Media Group, whereas Normal Common owns 4 TV stations, in line with their web sites.
Tegna reported third-quarter earnings on Thursday and mentioned on a name with analysts it was nonetheless evaluating acquisition proposals versus its stand-alone prospects.
The corporate recorded $756 million in income within the quarter, up 2% year-over-year. It has 64 tv stations in 51 U.S. markets, and a market worth of $7.75 billion together with debt.
(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Krystal Hu in San Francisco; Enhancing by Chris Reese)