Published: Tue, May 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Tribune Media spikes on reports of nascent bidding war

Tribune Media spikes on reports of nascent bidding war

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O is in talks with Blackstone Group LP BX.N about submitting an acquisition offer for Tribune Media Co TRCO.N , according to a source familiar with the matter.

As part of the joint venture, Blackstone will pony up the cash, while Rupert Murdoch's Fox will put up its own group of networks and stations, the Times reported.

Tribune Media owns a range of television stations across the United States, as well as the cable channel WGN.

They also come at a time when 21st Century Fox and its owner Rupert Murdoch face heat in the USA - for the Fox News scandals - as well as overseas for attempts to takeover Sky in the United Kingdom.

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An FCC vote last week to ease existing ownership caps paved the way for a Sinclair-Tribune merger.

Nexstar Media Group Inc (NXST.O) has also been carrying out due diligence on Tribune Media, and is weighing a bid this week, according to two sources. Regulators are said to be looking at how Fox has handled the recent spate of sexual harassment charges at Fox News, an ongoing issue that has sparked speculation of executive changes atop the conservative network.

For Fox, blocking Sinclair's bid for Tribune would eliminate the creation of a more formidable opponent when negotiations for broadcasting fees occur.

Two weeks ago, that pursuit was delayed by the British communications regulator as it continues to review whether the combined company would be "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting license.

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