EW Scripps to fund Nexstar acquisition with senior note offering | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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US broadcast TV station giant EW Scripps Company has established a wholly owned subsidiary, Scripps Escrow, to issue new senior notes in order to help fund its planned Nexstar acquisition.

scripps 2 march 2019The offering will consist of $500 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.875%. The notes are due in 2027 and priced at 100% in a private offering.

The amount represents an upsizing of the initial offering by $100 million, due to strong demand and favourable pricing for the company. The sale of the notes is expected to close on or about 26 July.

The escrow issuer, which was created solely to issue the notes, will deposit the gross proceeds of the offering into a segregated escrow account until the date that certain escrow release conditions are satisfied.

Upon the closing of the acquisition, the escrow-issuer will merge into the company, and the escrow proceeds will be released.

On 20 March, Scripps announced it would acquire eight stations in seven markets that are being divested in connection with Nexstar Media Group's pending acquisition of Tribune Media, for $580 million.

Scripps will finance the acquisition with $400 million of the note proceeds as well as $180 million of cash from the balance sheet, it said. The additional $100 million will be used to repay outstanding amounts under the company's revolving credit facility.

Scripps' net leverage, pro forma for the issuance of the notes, would be 5.3x, based on pro forma annual average adjusted EBITDA of $363 million for the last eight quarters ended 31 March 31.

The acquisition will grow the Scripps local television station portfolio to 62 stations in 42 markets with a reach of 31% of US TV households.