Apollo Agrees to Acquire Majority Stake in Cox's TV Stations

(Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management LLC agreed to buy the majority stake in Cox Enterprises Inc.’s television broadcasters, transforming the private equity giant into a key player in local TV with 13 stations from Florida to Seattle.

Cox will keep a minority stake and help operate the stations via a new business based in Atlanta, the companies said Friday. The deal also includes radio and newspaper properties in Ohio.

The batch of Cox stations is worth about $3 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.

The transaction gives Apollo access to 31 million viewers in the U.S. and furthers an effort to make inroads in TV. The company also is in talks to buy a group of local television stations from Nexstar Media Group Inc. for more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the situation said this week. And Apollo recently agreed to buy about a dozen stations from Northwest Broadcasting Inc.

The Cox assets include an ABC affiliate in Atlanta, a Fox station in Boston and a CBS affiliate in Seattle. The Ohio properties, meanwhile, include the Dayton Daily News and radio stations like WZLR and WHKO.

Barclays Plc, Moelis & Co. and BDT & Co. served as Cox’s financial advisers on the deal, while Eversheds Sutherland LLP and Covington & Burling LLP provide legal counsel. Apollo got financial advice from RBC Capital Markets LLC, Guggenheim Partners LLC and LionTree Advisors LLC. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as its legal advisers.

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