Gray Television Withdraws Tegna Offer Amid Coronavirus Rout: Sources

Gray Television Inc (GTN.N) has withdrawn its offer to acquire larger peer Tegna Inc (TGNA.N) because of concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on U.S. regional TV station operators, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Gray had offered to buy Tegna for about $8.5 billion, including debt, Reuters reported earlier this month. After Gray’s stock tumbled on the news and concerns about the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact became widespread, the Atlanta-based company decided this was not the time to pursue the transformative acquisition, one of the sources said.

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc (APO.N) and media mogul Byron Allen, which also had made $20-per-share all-cash offers for Tegna, remain in contention to buy the company and deal negotiations are continuing, the sources said. Tegna has been engaging with bidders and allowing them to carry out due diligence, the sources added.

There is no certainty there will be a deal for Tegna, given the economic uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus crisis, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

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