Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

President Sinclair responds to reports about the potential sale of the television station

By meerna Jun12,2024

Sinclair, the nation’s largest owner of local television stations, is open to selling any assets in its portfolio at an appropriate price, the media company’s CEO said Tuesday in response to reports of a potential sale.

Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley responded at Hunt Valley-based Sinclair’s annual meeting to a shareholder who asked whether the company was reportedly looking to sell more than 60 of its 185 stations, nearly a third of them.

Last month, a CNBC report cited anonymous sources in reporting that Sinclair had hired investment banker Moelis and identified more than 60 stations in 86 markets, a mix of affiliates such as Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and the CW.

Ripley said the company does not comment on media speculation and noted nothing has been officially announced.

“What I can say about potential sales within our portfolio is that we are very focused on closing the gap between our total part valuation and the area we currently trade in,” Ripley said. “There is a very big gap.”

Sinclair’s stock, which has been declining in value for several years, has lost almost two-thirds of its value since the beginning of 2020 and was trading at $12.31 per share on Tuesday. When considering the “sum of the parts,” Ripley said he believed the stock should be trading at a price of $50 to $60 per share.

Sinclair executive chairman David Smith, one of the company’s controlling shareholders, purchased The Baltimore Sun in January with a partner.

Sinclair officials maintain that Wall Street underestimates the company, which it views only as a television broadcasting owner, apart from the value of its non-local media assets, such as Tennis Channel, and its investment portfolio. It is changing its investment strategy to start acquiring growing companies outside the television industry.

“There are no sacred cows,” Ripley said Tuesday during the meeting. “Everything in our portfolio can be sold at the right price and we believe that to the extent there are opportunities to transact, it would help close this valuation gap.”

By meerna

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