Gray Television, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire all of the television and radio stations of Schurz Communications, Inc. ("Schurz") for approximately $442.5 million including working capital at closing. Gray will host an investor call beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, September 15th, to discuss this transaction further.
The transaction announced today demonstrates Gray's commitment to acquire high-quality stations in attractive markets and will increase Gray's scale, the quality of its portfolio, and its exposure to politically competitive markets. In particular, the addition of the Schurz stations will:
- • Expand Gray's operations to a total of 49 television markets and 28 states;
- • Provide Gray with the top-rated and highest grossing television stations in five additional markets; and
- • Improve the overall quality of Gray's portfolio of stations through continued diversification and by increasing the total count of number-one ranked television stations to 39 and the total count of number-one or number-two ranked television station operations to 48 out of our soon-to-be 49 television markets.
On a "pro forma" basis (that is, including the financial results of all Schurz stations plus the financial results of all transactions previously completed and/or announced by Gray as if they had been completed on January 1, 2014, including anticipated synergies), Gray's 2014 operating metrics would have improved as follows:
- • Pro forma 2014 total net revenue would have increased to approximately $774 million;
- • Pro forma 2014 net political revenue would have increased to approximately $120 million, which equals $11.40 per pro forma television household in Gray's 49 television markets; and
- • Pro forma 2014 broadcast cash flow would have increased to approximately $348 million.
"Today is a momentous day in Gray's 118-year history," said Hilton H. Howell, Jr., Gray's President and CEO. "Through the Schurz transaction, we will significantly expand the quality of our portfolio of leading television stations. We welcome more dedicated reporters, account executives, and technologists to our growing family. Quite simply, Gray's existing stations will make the Schurz stations stronger, while the Schurz stations will make our existing stations better."
"In a rapidly consolidating industry where size and scale matter more than ever before, we have come to the realization that Gray Television would be the best steward to ensure our stations succeed over the long-term," explained Todd Schurz, President and CEO of Schurz. "Gray knows how to operate top stations in small and medium-sized markets, and they have an entrepreneurial and decentralized culture," he continued. "Moreover, Gray shares our commitment to local communities, staffs, journalistic ideals, and the broadcasting industry. Being part of a larger company with these important credentials will create more opportunities for employees and the communities that we all love."