Tribune Sells Gracenote For $560 Million, Declares Special Dividend

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Tribune Media Co. announced Tuesday a deal to sell its Gracenote video, music and sports business to Nielsen Holdings PLC for $560 million in cash. Tribune said it was selling off nearly all of its digital and data business to focus on its core television and entertainment business. The said it will use the expected $500 million in after-tax proceeds from the deal to repay debt. Separately, Tribune said it plans to pay a special dividend of about $500 million during the first quarter of 2017, and to expects to continue executing its share repurchase program, which currently has $168 million remaining. "From a strategic standpoint, however, we are pleased to be streamlining our company so that we can focus even more intently on seizing future opportunities for our local television and entertainment business," Tribune Chief Executive Peter Liguori said. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has gained 1.9% year to date, while Nielsen shares have lost 7.1% and the S&P 500 has climbed 11%.

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