Apollo Global Management LLC has agreed to procure a majority stake in 14 television stations from privately held Cox Media Group, the company on Friday, a move which establishes Apollo to become a player in telecasting, an industry it has attempted to find deals in for some time.
While Apollo and Cox did not reveal financial terms, the transaction was estimated at around $3 billion. The stations are in cities such as Boston, Seattle, Florida, Jacksonville, and more than 31 million US viewers. Apollo is also acquiring the control of news, radio television properties in Ohio according to the company.
Broadcast television operators are finding to either achieve scale or exit the market space as viewership and advertising dollars, progressively transfer to providers of web-based, streaming content.
Apollo also bid for a portfolio of local TV stations worth about $1 billion which Nexstar Media Group Inc plans to shed following its $4.1 billion takeovers to Tribune Media Co. If Apollo can achieve that group of stations, it would merge the assets with the Cox TV stations, according to the source.
Apollo has a deal to obtain the assets of Northwest Broadcasting, which possesses more than a dozen TV stations mostly in rural markets in the Pacific Northwest and combine them with the Cox assets. In last July, Cox told it was surveying for its 14 stations portfolio.
The broadcast media sector has been involved in coalition discussions in the midst of expectations which the US Federal Communications Commission could modify restrictions on how many stations broadcasters can operate.