Tribune is under pressure from labor unions and activists wary of the Koch's funding of political groups and organizations critical of issues including collective bargaining, curbing global warming and the Affordable Care Act. Tribune Chairman Bruce Karsh, the president of Oaktree Capital Management, the company's largest shareholder, has said selling the newspapers is just one option being considered.
By combining with Local TV, Tribune will own 14 CW affiliates, 14 Fox stations, five CBS affiliates, three ABC affiliates, two with NBC and four independents.
To finance the deal, Tribune received a pledge of as much as $4.1 billion from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, including a new $300 million revolving credit facility. The arrangement will allow Tribune to refinance its existing debt, the company said. JPMorgan Chase also owns a 9.1% stake in the company.
The company said the combination will generate more than $100 million in annual "run-rate synergies" within five years of the deal closing.
-- Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York
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