RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG), a local broadcast television and digital media company, presented today at the 41 st UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York. George L. Mahoney, president and chief executive officer, and James F. Woodward, senior vice president and chief financial officer, discussed the company's merger with Young Broadcasting that was completed on November 12, 2013.
Mr. Mahoney said, "Our merger with Young was an all-stock transaction. To say it was transformational for both companies dramatically understates the case. First, we promised $30 million of synergies when we announced this transaction. We said they'd be realized in 12-15 months from the closing. Today, our expected synergies already stand at $44 million, and we believe they could go higher.
"We also said the merger would be immediately accretive to free cash flow. The new credit facility we put in place has allowed us to refinance Media General's and Young's debt at a significantly lower cost than we'd anticipated. Our new, combined balance sheet will be even stronger going forward than we'd hoped.
"We're working hard on integration issues, melding two companies and assimilating the best of each into our new organization. This too is going well. We've found that our two companies approach the world – and their responsibilities to, and their roles in their communities – all in virtually the same ways. Culture is not only not a problem, rather, it's an accelerant."We're excited at our prospects as we look ahead to 2014. Political once again will be a hot category. Our digital and mobile platforms will continue to drive meaningful, industry-leading audience and revenue growth. And, we'll continue to benefit from the rising market for retransmission revenues, dropping much of this new, pay-model revenue to our 2014 bottom line. 2012 pro forma retransmission revenues were $69.6 million. This year, we expect retrans to increase 35-40% from that base. In 2014, we expect to increase again by a similar percentage," said Mr. Mahoney. Mr. Woodward said, "In addition to our strong balance sheet, improved credit profile, synergies and accretion to free cash flow, we have combined NOLs of more than $500 million and do not expect to pay any significant cash income taxes for the next 5-7 years. "After the merger closed, we drew our new credit facilities and repaid the existing term loans for Media General and Young, including call premiums, transaction fees and expenses. Our credit facilities are also funding a $50 million contribution to Media General's pension plan. Tomorrow, we are redeeming our 11-3/4% Senior Notes, which will complete our refinancing process. After tomorrow's redemption of the senior notes, we will have $885 million of debt, an interest rate of 4.25% and annual cash interest expense of $37 million," he said. Mr. Woodward also reported that for the first nine months of 2013, pro forma combined revenues were $394 million, pro forma combined operating income was $43 million, and pro forma combined EBITDA was $87 million. A copy of the presentation is available on the company's website www.mediageneral.com. Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties and should be understood in the context of the company's publicly available reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Media General's future performance could differ materially from its current expectations.