Freedom Communications Announces Sale of Broadcast Properties to Sinclair Broadcast Group
IRVINE, CALIF. - Nov. 2 2011 – Freedom Communications, (the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the assets of its broadcast properties to a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (“Sinclair”).
“We are very excited about this sale and believe it is an excellent transaction for both parties,” said Mitchell Stern, President and CEO of Freedom Communications. “After the sale is completed Freedom Communications will be essentially debt free, and our broadcast properties will be part of a company whose primary focus is broadcasting.”
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 65 TV stations in 39 markets. Sinclair’s television group reaches approximately 24% of US television households and includes FOX, ABC, CBS, CW, NBC, MNT and Azteca affiliates.
“As a company essentially free of debt, Freedom will have greater financial flexibility, allowing us to take advantage of opportunities that may arise in the future,” continued Mr. Stern. “Our singular focus will now be on completing our transformation into a digital media company that goes beyond traditional print to take advantage of the technological innovations that will allow us to continue providing the best possible service to our readers and advertisers.”
The sale is expected to close in approximately four to six months and is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval. Sinclair will provide television management services through a Local Marketing Agreement as early as December 1, 2011, following receipt of anti-trust approval.
Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor to the Company, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisors.
About Freedom Communications
Freedom Communications, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications, broadcast television stations and interactive businesses. The company’s print portfolio includes approximately 100 publications, including 27 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, plus ancillary magazines and other specialty publications. The broadcast company’s stations – five CBS, two ABC network affiliates and one CW affiliate – reach more than 3 million households across the country. The Company’s news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print and broadcast properties. For more information, visit www.freedom.com.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies, owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 65 TV stations in 39 markets. Sinclair’s television group reaches approximately 24% of US television households and includes FOX, ABC, CBS CW, NBC, MNT and Azteca affiliates. Sinclair regularly uses its website as a key source of Sinclair information and can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.