USA Today, of course, broke the news this morning: Gannett Co., the newspaper's parent, is acquiring Dallas' Belo Corp for $1.5 billion:
Gannett will acquire all outstanding shares of Belo for $13.75 per share in cash, or approximately $1.5 billion, plus assume $715 million in existing debt for an enterprise value of approximately $2.2 billion. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, represents a 28.1% premium to the closing price of Belo common stock on June 12, 2013.
President and Chief Executive Officer Gracia Martore of Gannett, said, "We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership."
The acquisition is being portrayed as a move by Gannett to diversify its media portfolio as print revenues continue to decline. It nearly doubles the number of network affiliates owned by Gannett, adding 20, including WFAA, to its current lineup of 23.
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The deal does not include The Dallas Morning News, which is under the umbrella of a separate entity, the A.H. Belo Corporation.