Gannett has agreed to acquire Texas six stations from London Broadcasting for $ 215 million. The stations are KCEN Waco -Temple - Bryan, KYTX Tyler- Longview, KIII Corpus Christi, KBMT and subchannel KJAC in Beaumont-Port Arthur, KXVA Abilene -Sweetwater and KIDY San Angelo. They are a mixture of NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates.
"The addition of these stations the scope of Gannett will expand on some of the fastest growing markets in the nation and promotes our successful transformation into a diversified multimedia company," said Gracia Martore (pictured), president and CEO of Gannett. "With over 70 % of advertising revenues driven by London Broadcasting local advertisers, this acquisition will provide us access to new attractive markets where we believe our group of local digital marketing services, G/O digital, will thrive".
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close this summer. It is expected that London stations to generate revenues of approximately $ 50 million in 2014, while the transaction is expected to provide Gannett with what he called "certain tax efficiencies" relating to the sale of KMOV St. Louis. Including expected synergies and the expected tax benefit, the purchase price implies an average of 6.7x 2014/2015 EBITDA multiple.
"In a very short span of just five years, we and our partners in SunTx established [London] as a leading television stations broadcast the midmarket in the state of Texas operator," said Terry London, President of London Broadcasting."We hope to continue providing our customers with outstanding content through our ongoing involvement of several television stations in Texas and through LBC's other media properties."
Phil Hurley, London Broadcasting Company chief operating officer, will continue to lead the six stations after closing, reporting to Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting. "We are pleased that several of our television stations will become part of Gannett and benefit from that organization's global strength and breadth," concluded London.
Gannett pulled off a massive deal for the group of Belo in 2013.