Boston-based ABRY Communications made its long-awaited return to station buying June 21, acquiring Norman Lear’s Act III Broadcasting in a deal valued at well over $500 million.
The deal makes ABRY one of the largest owners of Fox affiliates. Act III owns eight TV stations, all currently affiliated with the weblet.
For tax purposes, the sale is structured as a stock purchase, and as part of the sale ABRY will also assume Act III Broadcasting’s debt, which is about $150 million. According to Act III, its stations reported cash flow of $44.7 million on net revenue of $93.8 million for the 12 months ending March 31, 1995. Its operating income for the same period was $30.6 million.
ABRY currently owns indies KSMO Kansas City, WSTR Cincinnati and WNUV Baltimore. Sinclair is also expected to acquire KSMO and WSTR, and a group linked to Sinclair will likely end up with WNUV.
ABRY is expected to continue looking for more stations.