Now by merging, the companies expect to cut costs by $275-300 million annually and said they would together have 263 daily media organizations across 47 states, as well as USA Today. New Media and Gannett are the largest U.S. newspaper owners by circulation, according to Statista.
About 25% of the combined company’s revenue will come from digital, New Media Chief Executive Officer Michael Reed said on a conference call.
New Media is run by Fortress Investment Group, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, and has built the largest chain of local U.S. papers, including 156 dailies from the Austin American-Statesman to the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon.
After the merger closes, expected by the second half of 2019, New Media will hold about 50.5% stake in the combined company, to be led by Reed.
Gannett shareholders will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 of a New Media share for each share they hold, amounting to $12.06, which represents 12.2% premium to Gannett’s Friday close.
The $1.4 billion equity value is based on 116.7 million outstanding shares as of June 30.
Both New Media and its operating subsidiary GateHouse will be rebranded and operate under brand “Gannett”.