Byron Allen Eyes To Acquire Tegna In $8B Deal

  • Byron Allen, the 1980s comedian-turned-media-mogul who owns the Weather Channel, aims to acquire Tegna Inc TGNA in an $8 billion deal, New York Post reports.
  • Tegna, formerly owned by Gannett Co Inc GCI, is a chain of 64 TV and radio stations that span more than 50 markets across the U.S.
  • Recently, Fox launched a 24-hour streaming weather app that media insiders say looks like the basis for a new cable-TV channel. Fox Weather will likely have significant leverage as it eyes a launch given the clout of Fox's news and sports channels, and the Weather Channel is in its crosshairs.
  • The deal could significantly boost Allen Media Group, which has amassed 33 local TV network affiliate stations.
  • Allen could gain leverage to sell cable companies his other nine fledgling networks, including Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV and Cars.TV.
  • Recently, hedge fund Standard General collaborated with Apollo Global Management Inc APO to offer $22 a share for Tegna, implying a 12.4% premium.
  • Allen's Weather Channel's business also took a hit due to the pandemic as the TV advertising dried up, leading to piling debt load.
  • Recently, Allen discussed alliances on a last-minute bid for Tegna with Oaktree Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group, and Ares Management.
  • Allen's co-investors are pitching for a significant stake in Tegna in return for assuming most of the risky equity capital. 
  • However, Allen wants to maintain almost complete control.
  • Surprisingly, Allen drew a hefty compensation package from his company despite his company's dwindling prospects and kept splurging on himself.
  • Price Action: TGNA shares traded higher by 1.53% at $19.96 on the last check Monday.
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