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Tegna Stock Jumps; Bidder Allen Gets More Financial Backing

Byron Allen has reportedly received more investor support for his $23-a-share bid for local-television-station company Tegna.
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Shares of Tegna  (TGNA) - Get TEGNA, Inc. Report were higher on Wednesday on a report that media titan Byron Allen has received additional backing for his takeover bid for the television-station operator. 

Allen has "shored up more investors" to back his $23-a-share bid for the Tysons, Va., company, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. 

Allen is seeking $8 billion or more in debt and equity to outbid a rival group that includes private-equity firm Apollo Global Management  (APO) - Get Apollo Global Management Inc. Class A Report and Standard General, Bloomberg reported. 

Allen is discussing raising at least $2 billion in preferred equity from Oaktree Capital Group, Fortress Investment Group, the family office of Michael Milken and Ares Management. Other investors are also in talks to participate in the funding. 

Without confirming a bid for the company, Allen told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday that he planned to invest $10 billion in local television stations over the next four years to buy as many as he can. 

Tegna shares on Wednesday closed 3.85% higher at $20.52. 

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Tegna is currently embroiled in a dispute with a distributor after Dish Network  (DISH) - Get DISH Network Corporation Class A Report filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission Monday. The complaint claims the TV-station owner broke FCC rules in negotiating terms of carriage for its stations. 

Earlier this month, Tegna took its local stations off transmission for about 3 million Dish TV subscribers across the country, Dish said.

"Tegna turned its back on its public interest obligation and failed to engage in good faith retransmission consent negotiations with Dish," Andy LeCuyer, Dish senior vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Tegna called Dish Network's complaint "utterly baseless and without merit," in a statement earlier this week. 

Tegna and Dish are currently under negotiations over the broadcasting contract for 108 television stations. 

Tegna claims that it has made proposals that include a reduction in rates but "DISH has refused to counter."