BALTIMORE — Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. agreed to buy Sullivan Broadcast Holdings Inc. for as much as $1 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt, a deal that would give it TV stations in the East and South.
The purchase of closely held Sullivan's 14 TV stations would put Baltimore-based Sinclair in mostly mid-sized markets and expand its reach to 23% of U.S. homes, from 19% now. The price includes as much as $100 million in stock and $480 million of assumed debt.
The move would put Sinclair in such fast-growing regions as Charleston, S.C., and Richmond, Va. The company could also boost revenue in some markets where it already owns radio stations, such as Buffalo, N.Y., by packaging commercial time with Boston-based Sullivan's TV stations.
Including pending transactions, Sinclair owns or provides programming to 55 TV stations in 37 markets and 59 radio stations in 11 markets.
ABRY Partners Inc., an investment partnership and the majority shareholder of Sullivan, would receive as much as $100 million of Sinclair's Class A shares.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, is expected to be completed in the second quarter.
Sinclair's shares eased 63 cents to close at $55.25 on Nasdaq.