Shareholder lawsuit aims to halt Tribune Media purchase by Sinclair
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Tribune Media Company is facing a stockholder lawsuit seeking class-action status aimed at halting its pending $3.9 billion purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
Sean McEntire filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Chicago, accusing Tribune Media of misleading stockholders by failing to disclose information about the process leading up to the merger agreement between Sinclair and Tribune. McEntire, who is identified as a stockholder in the 17-page complaint, wants a judge to stop the deal from going through unless that information is disclosed.
McEntire argues that information has been withheld concerning Tribune’s financial projections, the value of other bids for Tribune, and the material terms of confidentiality agreements with potential acquisition partners, including Sinclair.
Tribune Media announced the deal in May, in which Sinclair was expected to assume about $2.7 billion in debt. It beat out Fox News owner 21st Century Fox and New York investment firm Blackstone. Tribune Media has 42 TV stations and WGN radio, and reaches more than 43 percent of the nation. Sinclair, headquartered in Baltimore, owns 173 stations and other properties such as the Tennis Channel and, according to TVNewsCheck.com, reaches more than 38 percent of the nation.
A Tribune Media spokesman declined to comment.
The lawsuit names Tribune Media Co. and several of its directors as defendants.