Published in Breaking News

Investor-backed firm to acquire Fox 17 in Grand Rapids

BY Wednesday, April 25, 2018 08:54am

GRAND RAPIDS –– A new investor-backed media company has signed a deal to acquire the West Michigan Fox television affiliate.

New York City-based Standard Media Group LLC announced on Tuesday evening that it entered into a definitive agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. of Hunt Valley, Md. to acquire Grand Rapids-based Fox 17 WXMI and eight other stations around the country.

As MiBiz previously reported, Sinclair is trying to appease government regulators in a bid to finalize its $3.9 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Tribune Media Co., which currently owns Fox 17.  

The $441.7 million cash acquisition by Standard Media includes stations in Oklahoma City, Des Moines, Richmond, Va. and other markets.

The deal would create a new media company affiliated with Standard General LP, an SEC-registered investment adviser that manages capital for public and private pension plans, endowments, foundations, and high net worth individuals.

“The stations we are acquiring in this transaction have tremendous potential in excellent markets,” newly appointed Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott said in a statement. “We are excited to work with the talented station teams established by Sinclair and Tribune and grow the business for years to come.

“Following this transaction, Standard Media will be well positioned to make further accretive acquisitions and we believe there is a compelling market opportunity to create another large player in the consolidating broadcast TV industry.”

Station executives at Fox 17 declined to comment on the new ownership.

The acquisition of the nine stations by Standard General is subject to regulatory approval. The deal is expected to close in conjunction with the Sinclair-Tribune deal.

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