Nexstar Media Group Inc and Tribune Media Company have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Nexstar will acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune Media for $46.50 per share in a cash transaction that is valued at $6.4bn including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019, subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Nexstar’s operating results inclusive of expected operating synergies of approximately $160m in the first year following the completion of the transaction and planned divestitures.

Nexstar said it will benefit from increased operational and geographic diversity and scale as a result of Tribune Media’s diverse portfolio of sports and news media assets including 42 owned or operated broadcast television stations in major US markets. The company owns Covers Media Group, described as an unrivaled source of online sports betting information.

Perry Sook, Chairman, President and CEO of Nexstar, commented: “Nexstar has long viewed the acquisition of Tribune Media as a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate value to shareholders of both companies. We have thoughtfully structured the transaction in a manner that positions the combined entity to better compete in today’s rapidly transforming industry landscape and better serve the local communities, consumers and businesses where we operate.”