Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., commented, “Our and Mission’s planned acquisition of five stations in four markets builds further scale and operating and financial leverage and represents another excellent opportunity to expand our platform in attractive, highly complementary markets. These transactions are consistent with our criteria for acquisitions that are accretive to free cash flow, further strategically diversify our revenue and operating base, create opportunities for virtual duopolies and present significant synergies with well-defined paths to realization. Under Nexstar and Mission’s ownership the stations will realize additional retransmission revenues as well as synergistic operating improvements, and on a pro-forma basis the acquisitions will be accretive to results and leverage neutral on a debt-to-cash-flow basis.
“Pro-forma for the completion of the transactions announced today and other soon-to-be completed transactions, we believe Nexstar will generate free cash flow of approximately $315 million in the 2014/2015 cycle, representing an increase of approximately 5% over our prior expectations. This would amount to average pro-forma free cash flow of approximately $5.25 per share per year in the 2014/2015 period. Based on our current financing plans as well as the significant free cash flow to be generated following our other recent acquisitions, we continue to expect net leverage in the mid-3x level at year-end 2014.
“Additionally, these stations are an excellent complement to our existing station portfolio in terms of market size and geographic alignment with Nexstar’s existing operating hubs, while offering the potential to develop additional virtual duopolies. The acquisition of the Des Moines and Sioux City stations marks Nexstar’s entrée into Iowa, an important state for political advertising activity, while the Rock Island station also reaches Iowa and will benefit from efficiencies related to Nexstar’s existing operations in Illinois where we now operate or provide services to six stations. At the same time, Mission’s acquisition of two stations in Binghamton enhances our overall presence in central/western New York where we currently operate or provide services to ten stations.”