Liberty Chooses Raycom To Continue Its Storied History
August 26, 2005 at 1:12 PM CDT - Updated July 26 at 11:10 PM
Liberty Corporation (NYSE: LC), and privately held Raycom Media, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Raycom to merge with Liberty for a cash purchase price of $47.35 per share, with enterprise value totaling $987,000,000. The merged Company will be headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama and Wachovia Bank have previously provided financing to Raycom.
Liberty operates 15 network affiliated television stations, including WAVE-TV, Louisville, Kentucky, WTOL-TV, Toledo, Ohio, WIS-TV, Columbia, South Carolina, WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi, KGBT-TV, Harlingen, Texas, WFIE-TV, Evansville, Indiana, KLTV-TV, Tyler, Texas, KTRE-TV, Lufkin, Texas, WSFA-TV, Montgomery, Alabama, WWAY-TV, Wilmington, North Carolina, KCBD-TV, Lubbock, Texas, WALB-TV, Albany, Georgia, WLOX-TV, Biloxi, Mississippi, KPLC-TV, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and KAIT-TV, Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Raycom is an employee-owned company and currently owns and operates 37 television stations including 2 ABC, 7 CBS, 9 FOX, 13 NBC, 5 UPN, and 1 WB station. From a geographic standpoint, Raycom is one of the nation’s largest broadcast companies and employs over 2,500 individuals in full and part-time positions. Raycom stations cover over 10% of U.S. television households with operations in 20 states.
Paul McTear, President and CEO of Raycom, described the merger as a continuation of Raycom’s long term strategies:
“It’s a terrific opportunity for Raycom. Our merger with Liberty Corporation allows us to take an exciting and logical next step into an exceptionally attractive group of markets, exactly the kind of markets where we excel as an industry leader in building revenue and viewership. These television stations are well-known and respected in our industry for their superior news products. CableVantage and the stations are noted for being well run businesses, which speaks highly of Liberty Corporation and its management.”
He added: “One of the extremely attractive aspects of this transaction is the ability to add the stations’ employees to our Raycom family. Raycom is an employee-owned company and we are proud to add Liberty’s employees to our team.”
Hayne Hipp, Liberty’s CEO and Chairman, said: “After we reviewed a broad range of strategic alternatives, the Liberty Board has determined unanimously that a purchase of Liberty stock by Raycom at $47.35 per share is the best way for our shareholders to realize value. As a part of Raycom, our operations will benefit from greater scale and resources, which are necessary to compete effectively in today’s increasingly competitive media market. Liberty and Raycom share similar cultures and values. We both care deeply about our employees, communities and the public trust, and we manage our television stations in the same devoted ways. In short, we couldn’t have found a better steward to continue Liberty’s eight decades of broadcast excellence.”
The parties anticipate, but cannot be assured, that the transaction will be completed before December 31, 2005.
In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production, and events management and distribution company); Digitalize-Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California) and Broadview Media (a post production/telecommunication company in Montgomery, Alabama). Raycom has web businesses hosted by WorldNow, a web production/hosting company in New York.
Belmoro Corporate Advisors, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina acted as exclusive strategic advisor to Raycom.