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Tegna Seats, Possible Sale Are Said to Be Sought by Investor

Scott Deveau

(Bloomberg) -- One of the largest shareholders in Tegna Inc. has asked for two seats on the board of the broadcaster and called on it to launch a strategic review, including a possible sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Standard General LP, which owns a 9.8% stake in Tegna, is prepared to start a proxy fight if its demands aren’t met, said the people, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The New York-based hedge fund, which has discussed its views with management, is Tegna’s third-largest holder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A representative for Standard General declined to comment. A representative for Tegna wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Standard General believes there are plenty of potential partners for a takeover of the company or a merger, the people said. The firm believes Tegna’s current strategy, including its dealmaking, has led its shares to perform worse than its peers, they said.

Tegna rose 0.9% to $15.30 in New York trading Monday, giving the company a market value of about $3.3 billion. The shares are up almost 33% in the past year.

Tegna owns 62 local TV stations and four radio stations across the U.S., according to its website.

The McLean, Virginia-based company has already drawn takeover interest from private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc.

In August, Tegna said Apollo had twice approached it about potential transactions, including most recently in June. Both times the private equity firm was short on details, Tegna said in a statement at the time.

(Updates Tegna’s statement in the last paragraph)

--With assistance from Nabila Ahmed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, Matthew Monks, Michael Hytha

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