Gray Television has withdrawn its bid to acquire larger TV station group Tegna Inc. because of concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect regional U.S. television operations, according to Reuters sources.
Gray and Tegna declined to comment to Reuters.
Tegna owns 62 television stations in 51 markets, covering 39% of U.S. TV households. Gray made a $20-per-share, cash and stocks offer for Tegna, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gray’s stock declined after it made its Tegna bid, and that, combined with the expected financial impacts of the virus outbreak on media and the economy in general, made Gray executives reconsider the bid, reports Reuters.
Some industry experts had described the prospects for Gray prevailing in the acquisition bid as slim, given Gray’s smaller size.
Apollo Global Management and media mogul Byron Allen, who have made all-cash, $20-per-share offers, are still in negotiations with Tegna, according to the report.
Those two companies also declined to comment.