The following is a news release from Raycom Media, WSFA 12 News' parent company.
RAYCOM TO ACQUIRE LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP TELEVISION PROPERTIES ALONG WITH LINCOLN FINANCIAL SPORTS
Raycom agrees to acquire three network television stations and Lincoln Financial Sports
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (November 12, 2007)---Privately held Raycom Media, Inc. announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire Lincoln Financial Group's television operations and Lincoln Financial Sports.
Lincoln Financial Group operates three network affiliated television stations, including WBTV, Charlotte, North Carolina, WWBT, Richmond, Virginia, and WCSC, Charleston, South Carolina. In addition, Lincoln Financial Sports broadcasts season-long schedules of live, televised games across a network of more than 70 stations throughout the Southeast through its partnership with Raycom Sports for ACC football and basketball and its SEC football and basketball schedule.
Raycom, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, is an employee-owned company and currently owns or operates 42 television stations including 5 ABC, 8 CBS, 9 FOX, 15 NBC, 3 MY TV, and 2 CW stations. From a geographic standpoint, Raycom is one of the nation's largest broadcast companies and employs over 3,200 individuals in full and part-time positions. Following the closing, Raycom stations will cover over 11.7% of U.S. television households with operations in 18 states.
Paul McTear, President and CEO of Raycom, described the acquisitions as a continuation of Raycom's long term strategies:
"It's a wonderful opportunity for Raycom that 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. Raycom's focus has always been and will continue to be news coverage. Lincoln Financial Sports and the stations are noted for being well run businesses, which speaks highly of its management."
He added: "One of the extremely attractive aspects of this transaction is the ability to add this group of employees to our Raycom family. Raycom is an employee-owned company and we are proud to add the Lincoln employees to our team."
The parties anticipate, but cannot be assured, that the Sports portion of the transaction will be completed by early December and that the balance of the transaction will be completed by the second quarter of 2008.
In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production, and events management and distribution company); Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California), CableVantage (an advertising sales and promotions company in Columbia, South Carolina) 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.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama is providing the financing for the transaction.
Belmoro Corporate Advisors, LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina acted as exclusive financial and strategic advisor to Raycom. Merrill Lynch & Co. acted as exclusive financial and strategic advisor to Lincoln Financial.
For more information about Raycom, visit the corporate website, http://www.raycommedia.com.