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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

09/28/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/29/2020 14:39

Akin Gump Advises on $2.65B ION-Scripps Merger

(Washington, D.C.) - A team from Akin Gump advised Black Diamond Capital Management (Black Diamond) in the $2.65 billion merger of ION Media Networks, Inc. (ION Media) and the E.W. Scripps Company (Scripps) announced September 24. Black Diamond indirectly owns 86 percent of ION Media.

In this transaction, Scripps will buy national broadcast network ION Media, combining the business with Scripps' Katz networks and Newsy to create a full-scale national television networks business. ION reaches more than 100 million homes through over-the-air and pay TV platforms and has consistently achieved annual revenue growth and EBITDA margins well beyond industry averages. In addition, this highly accretive acquisition will yield $500 million in synergies, most of which are contractually based, over the next six years.

In this transaction, Scripps will buy national broadcast network ION Media, combining the business with Scripps' Katz networks and Newsy to create a full-scale national television networks business. ION reaches more than 100 million homes through over-the-air and pay TV platforms and has consistently achieved annual revenue growth and EBITDA margins well beyond industry averages. In addition, this highly accretive acquisition will yield $500 million in synergies, most of which are contractually based, over the next six years. Berkshire Hathaway will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps to finance the transaction.

Together, ION, Katz and Newsy, Scripps' new national networks business, will reach nearly every American through free over-the-air broadcast, cable/satellite, over-the-top and digital distribution, with multiple advertising-supported programming streams.

The Akin Gump team provided counsel on FCC regulatory matters on the merger agreement. The team was led by communications and information technology partner Tom Davidson and included senior counsel Karen Milne, counsel Lyndsey Grunewald and associates Shea Boyd and Virginia Hiner.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1945, the firm is proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020. #AkinGump75

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