Nexstar Media Group has reached a $4.1 billion deal to acquire Tribune Media, making it the country’s largest operator of local TV stations.
Reports on Sunday said Nexstar’s all-cash offer of about $46.50 per share edged out private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
Stock of Chicago-based Tribune closed on Friday at $40.26 per share.
The winning bid by Nexstar of Irving, Texas, exceeded Tribune’s goal of fetching more than $43 per share — the price conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting offered for Tribune before the Justice Department scuttled the deal in August.
The Post tipped Nexstar as the auction’s winner on Saturday, noting that Tribune’s board met on Friday to sort out final offers received on Wednesday.
Tribune, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2012 and spun off its newspaper assets in 2014, owns 42 local TV stations, including WPIX in New York City and WGN in Chicago.
Nexstar owns 171 TV stations nationwide, reaching nearly 39 percent of all US households. The addition of Tribune’s stations would raise Nexstar’s total to 213, vaulting it past Sinclair’s 193 stations.
Although the acquisition could create antitrust concerns, insiders said Nexstar could prevail where Sinclair could not.
An official announcement of the deal is expected on Monday.