Tribune Media spikes on reports of nascent bidding war

Features Associated Press

Shares of Tribune Media are surging before the opening bell Monday on reports that 21st Century Fox and Blackstone may make a joint takeover bid for the TV station operator.

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A successful bid would to keep Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which is also rumored to be pursuing Tribune, from snatching up the Chicago company's stakes in Food Network, WGN cable network and some local TV stations. Blackstone, a private equity firm, is said to be putting cash toward the offer, while Fox would contribute some of its stations, according to the reports.

Tribune, 21st Century Fox Inc. and Blackstone declined to comment Monday.

Reports of a potential bid from Sinclair, based in Maryland, emerged a month after the Trump administration took office, with some expecting an easing of regulations that might have prevented tie-ups in the media industry.

Shares of Tribune Media Co. jumped $3.20, or 8.8 percent, to $39.76 before the market opened.