Byron Allen has tendered a preliminary $10 billion bid to acquire the ABC TV network, along with its local stations, FX, and National Geographic cable channels, as revealed by an anonymous source familiar with the matter. The offer remains subject to potential revisions, with the source requesting anonymity. Allen’s valuation is predicated on the presumption that these assets yielded $1.25 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in the preceding 12 months. Any variance in this figure would lead to corresponding adjustments in Allen’s proposed price, which is based on an eightfold multiple of EBITDA.
According to the source, Allen intends to collaborate with financial institutions and private equity firms to secure the necessary funding for this acquisition. There is also a possibility that he may divest the local TV stations in his current portfolio, excluding those affiliated with ABC, to mitigate potential conflicts with other networks such as CBS and NBC.
Originally known for his stand-up comedy, Byron Allen has transitioned into television production, emerging as a prominent figure in the media industry. He has invested over $1.3 billion in recent years to acquire assets, including the Weather Channel and an array of local stations spanning from Honolulu to Tucson.
It’s worth noting that Allen’s company, Allen Media LLC, already carries a substantial debt load. Furthermore, he has previously made unsuccessful attempts to acquire media properties, with recent associations linked to potential purchases of TV station owner Tegna Inc. and the BET cable network.
In related news, Bloomberg reported earlier on the same day that Allen had expressed interest in the ABC properties, while Nexstar Media Group Inc. had engaged in preliminary discussions with Disney regarding a potential acquisition of the network and its eight local stations.
However, Disney, in a statement released on Thursday, emphasized that it is contemplating strategic options for its traditional TV networks but has not yet made any definitive decisions regarding a sale.