Scripps to Buy ION Media in $2.65B Deal

Warren Buffett
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett

The deal is being financed in part by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps.

In a deal backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, local TV station giant E.W. Scripps is buying the independent broadcaster ION Media from the private equity firm Black Diamond Capital Management for $2.65 billion.

The deal will give Scripps a national footprint, merging ION with its Katz networks and Newsy to create a new national TV business for the company. Scripps says the deal will yield $500 million in synergies over the next six years, mostly from carriage fee savings associated with Katz networks. Katz's programming will over time migrate to ION.

ION owns more than 100 local TV stations in more than 60 markets across the country, which it uses to distribute its national network. Scripps owns more than 60 local TV stations. The deal, if approved by regulators, would further consolidate the local TV business.

The deal is being financed in part by Berkshire Hathaway, which will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps, with warrants to purchase up to an additional 23.1 million shares in the company at $13 each. The company's stock opened at $14 per share on Thursday. Berkshire currently owns one local TV station, Miami's ABC affiliate WPLG, which it acquired in 2014.