Nexstar makes offer for Tribune Media

Nexstar makes offer for Tribune Media

December 3rd, 2018 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Nexstar is offering to buy Chicago's Tribune Media for about $4 billion Monday, four months after the collapse of a similar bid from Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The deal would make Nexstar, whose stations reach nearly 39 percent of all U.S. television households, the biggest operator of local TV stations in the U.S. Yet it still must be approved by federal regulators, as well as shareholders.

The Sinclair-Tribune deal appeared to be gliding toward approval over the summer until Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in July that he had "serious concerns" about the deal.

Sinclair had agreed to shed almost two dozen of its own to score approval by the FCC. But Pai said Sinclair might still be able to operate the stations "in practice, even if not in name."

Tribune Media owns or operates 42 local TV stations that reach 50 million households, as well as the national network WGN. It also has a stake in the TV Food Network.


GlaxoSmithKline offers to buy cancer drugmaker

Shares of Tesaro soared Monday after GlaxoSmithKline said it would pay about $5.1 billion in cash to buy the cancer drugmaker.

Glaxo plans to pay $75 per share for Tesaro, which makes the ovarian cancer treatment Zejula. That represents a premium of more than 60 percent to the stock's $46.38 closing price Friday. The total deal price includes Tesaro's net debt.

Glaxo CEO Emma Walmsley said in a statement that the deal will accelerate growth of the British drugmaker's oncology business. Zejula brought in $166 million in revenue in the first nine months of this year, with third-quarter sales growing more than 60 percent.

Glaxo expects the deal to close in the first quarter.


Construction dips during October

Spending on U.S. construction projects fell 0.1 percent in October, the third consecutive monthly decline, as weakness in home building and non-residential construction offset a rebound in government projects.

The October decline matched a similar 0.1 percent drop in September and followed a 0.4 percent fall in August, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Construction has been weak since peaking in May with declines in four of the five months since that time, reflecting in large part the challenging facing home builders.

Home builders have struggled all year with rising costs for lumber, land and workers. Mortgage rates are also rising, reflecting in part rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which has boosted its benchmark rate three times this year and is expected to hike rates for a fourth time later this month.

In October, home building fell 0.5 percent, while non-residential construction retreated 0.3% as declines in construction of medical facilities and shopping centers offset a gain in office construction. Government spending was up 0.8% in October, a rebound that reflected gains in both state and local projects and federal spending.

The National Association for Business Economics released a new economic outlook Monday in which its forecasting panel downgraded estimates for home construction for this year and next year. It projects that builders will start construction on 1.26 million homes in 2018, down from their forecast in October for 1.28 million housing starts this year.

The revised forecast would still be a 5 percent increase from the 1.2 million housing starts in 2017. For 2019, the forecast expects starts will rise to 1.3 million units, a reduction of 50,000 units from NABE's October survey.


Hurricane costs total $43 billion

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A report from Puerto Rico's government says Hurricane Maria had a $43 billion impact on the U.S. territory's economy, $1 billion more than originally estimated.

The Puerto Rico Planning Board's report says its calculations took into account millions of dollars received so far in federal hurricane recovery funds and insurance money.

Overall, the board found that the capital of San Juan was among the six most affected cities on the island after the Category 4 storm hit in September 2017, causing more than an estimated $100 billion in damage.

"Given the magnitude of the natural disaster, the economic sectors will keep feeling the impact for an undetermined amount of time," the report says.