By Kimberly Chin
E.W. Scripps Co.'s shares climbed 13% on Thursday to $11.83 after the company agreed to buy ION Media for $2.65 billion with the backing of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire intends to make a $600 million preferred-equity investment in Scripps to help finance the deal, The Wall Street Journal reported and the company later confirmed. Berkshire will also get a warrant to purchase as many as 23.1 million Class A Scripps shares at $13 apiece. Shares of Scripps closed at $10.47 on Wednesday.
The move would help expand the television station owner's reach. Scripps operates 60 local television stations and has networks including Court TV, Bounce and the multiplatform news provider Newsy. The deal would roughly double the company's TV station footprint and supercharge distribution of its programming.
ION Media is owned by credit investment firm Black Diamond Capital Management and operates a national TV network with a lineup including crime shows such as "Law and Order" and "NCIS: Los Angeles." ION Media owns television stations in 62 markets and, along with affiliates, reaches nearly every U.S. home.
Write to Kimberly Chin at email@example.com