2018 M&A's Post Second-largest Deal Volume Since 2008

S & P Market Intelligence
S & P Market Intelligence

U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions volume reached $4.31 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, as tracked by Kagan. The top radio deal of the fourth quarter was Hubbard Radio LLC's $88 million purchase of Alpha Media LLC. It also ranked as the second-largest radio deal of 2018, topped only by Bonneville International Corp.'s $141 million purchase of eight radio stations from Entercom Communications Corp. in August.

Hubbard Radio's purchase of Alpha Media's largest cluster by revenue, comprised six stations in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton. The quarter featured eight other radio deals worth over one million dollars each, the largest being Saga Communications Inc.'s purchase of four FM stations in the Gainesville-Ocala, FL, market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation LLC for $9.3 million.

In the largest deal of the quarter and year, Nexstar Media Group announced on December 3 that it would acquire all of Tribune Media's assets for $46.50 per share. Kagan estimates the broadcast assets to be worth $3.51 billion. Ranking second in deal value for the year was the $3.44 billion merger of Gray Television Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. from the second quarter.

In total, 2018 closed with an $8.87 billion deal volume for U.S. broadcast station Mergers & Acquisitions, representing an increase of 8% compared to 2017.

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