Washington, DC – October 20, 2020 – Cooley advised ION Media on its agreement to sell to E.W. Scripps for $2.65 billion, combining the business with Scripps' Katz networks and Newsy to create a full-scale national television networks business. Lawyers John Feore and Jason Rademacher led the Cooley team advising ION.
ION, which Scripps is purchasing from an entity controlled by Black Diamond Capital Management, operates a national television network featuring popular crime and justice procedural programming and reaches more than 100 million homes through over-the-air and pay TV platforms. The network boasts the fifth-largest average primetime audience among all cable-carried networks.
Combining ION with Katz and Newsy, which also primarily earn revenue from national advertising, will increase Scripps' reach into this durable ad market as it offers advertisers a larger platform on which to reach their audiences.
"With its strong revenue growth, high margins and significant cash flow, ION will make Scripps a more powerful and durable media business with significant near-term benefit as well as long-term value,” Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson said in a news release. “ION Media is a distribution double threat – carried on cable and satellite through must carry while also capitalizing on cord-cutting and the growth of free over-the-air broadcasting.”
Berkshire Hathaway will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps to finance the transaction. Berkshire Hathaway also will receive a warrant to purchase up to 23.1 million Class A shares.
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