Murdoch's New Fox Is Among Suitors for Nexstar Stations

(Bloomberg) -- Fox Corp., the broadcaster preparing to spin off from 21st Century Fox Inc., is vying for television stations being offloaded by Nexstar Media Group Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.

The new Fox is among potential buyers that have been asked to submit final offers by the end of next week for the stations, which are expected to fetch more than $1 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the sale process is private. Nexstar is selling them as a regulatory condition of buying Tribune Media Co.

Other suitors include Tegna Inc., EW Scripps Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC, the people said. Apollo has been a leading contender for the assets as it pursues a trifecta of transactions that could give it control of more than 40 stations from Atlanta to Seattle.

Apollo, which had been close to an agreement to buy the stations before negotiations stalled, remains in discussions with Nexstar, the people said.

Representatives for Tegna, EW Scripps, Nexstar and Fox declined to comment. A representative for Apollo didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Nexstar is divesting stations in more than 10 markets where it overlaps with Tribune. They generate annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $150 million, according to the people.

There is "robust" interest in the properties and Nexstar could announce a buyer by the end of March, Nexstar Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook said in a conference call discussing earnings this week.

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