Media General buying Meredith in $2.4B deal

(AP) – Media General is buying Meredith Corp. in an approximately $2.4 billion cash-and-stock deal.

The combined company, called Meredith Media General, will have 88 television stations in 54 markets and media brands including Better Homes and Gardens, Allrecipes, Parents and Shape.

Meredith shareholders will receive cash and stock valued at $51.53 per share. That’s a 12 percent premium to the company’s Friday closing price of $45.94. Media General stockholders will own about 65 percent of the combined company, while Meredith shareholders will own approximately 35 percent.

Meredith CEO Steve Lacy will serve as CEO and president of the combined company.

The board will include 12 members, eight appointed by Media General Inc. and four by Meredith. Media General Chairman J. Stewart Bryan III will serve as chairman of the combined business.

Meredith Media General will maintain corporate and executive offices in Des Moines, Iowa and Richmond, Virginia. Meredith is based in Des Moines, while Medial General is based in Richmond, Virginia.

The companies expect more than $80 million in total savings within the first two years after the transaction closes.

Both companies’ boards approved the deal, which is targeted to close by June 30, 2016. It still needs approval from Meredith and Media General shareholders and the Federal Communications Commission.

Meredith shares rose $4.31, or 9.4 percent, to $50.26 in morning trading Tuesday while Media General added 17 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $11.32.

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