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Gannett Co. Inc., owner of more than 80 newspapers, including the Democrat and Chronicle and USA Today, has agreed to acquire broadcast company Belo Corp. for $1.5 billion in cash, along with assumption of debt.
Belo is a Dallas-based media company that owns 20 television stations and two 24-hour cable news channels, the majority of which reside in the South and Northwest.
The move nearly doubles its television broadcasting business, Gannett officials said. As part of the deal, Gannett will pay $13.75 a share, a 28 percent premium on Belo’s closing price at close Wednesday. Gannet also will assume $715 million of Belo’s debt.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to approvals by shareholders and the Federal Communications Commission, along with anti-trust approvals, officials said.
Gannett shares (NYSE: GCI) were up more than 22 percent Thursday morning to $24.28 a share.
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