Standard General says only FCC approval left for Tegna deal

(Reuters) -Hedge fund Standard General said its proposed acquisition of TV station operator Tegna Inc only needs Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval after the U.S. Department of Justice reviewed it without mounting any challenge.

Standard General said in a statement on Tuesday that the so-called Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, which gives antitrust regulators time to review the deal, had expired.

Tegna shares ended trading in New York on Wednesday at their highest level since September, as investors assigned a higher probability to the deal closing.

The shares closed up 6% at $21.65. The discount to the $24-per-share deal price – which Tegna and Standard General agreed to in February 2022 – reflects lingering uncertainty over whether the FCC will let the deal go through.

Standard General added in the statement it now expects the deal with Tegna, which is valued at $8.6 billion, including debt, to close in March or April, subject to approval by the FCC.

In a separate regulatory filing, Tegna said that the period during which it and Standard General have committed to sticking with the deal in order to complete it has been extended by three months to May 22.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Muralikumar Anantharaman)