Why Media General, Inc. Jumped 27% Monday Morning

Source: Media General.

What: Shares of TV station manager Media General jumped as much as 27% higher on Monday morning. Industry peer Nexstar Broadcasting provided fuel for the rocket boost, launching a takeover bid for Media General that would value the stock at roughly $14.50 per share. Nexstar stock was up less than 1% as of 12:30 p.m.

So what: Nexstar's cash-plus-stock offer works out to a $4.5 billion deal, including Media General's $2.1 billion net debt balance. This merger of equals would create a broadcast-focused giant with 162 TV stations in 99 media markets. More to the point, Nexstar wants to stop Media General from completing a similar deal with Meredith .

Now what: Compared to the Meredith deal, the Nexstar combination would roughly double Media General's TV station and media market reach. It would become the nation's second-largest portfolio of network affiliates, while Meredith would only put the new company in third place. Nexstar underscored the economies of scale and fortified negotiating leverage that would result from a larger footprint.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

And with financial debt of just 1.5 times trailing EBITDA profits, Eros compares well with stateside rivals at 3.4 times EBITDA, or , whose ratio stands at 2.8. Lions Gate and CBS are also increasing their effective debt load, while Eros is reducing its own.

Media General quickly confirmed Nexstar's offer, but refrained from taking any official position on the proposed deal. The board will review Nexstar's terms before offering any further guidance, other than asking shareholders to "take no action" in the meantime.

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The article Why Media General, Inc. Jumped 27% Monday Morning originally appeared on

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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