Sinclair to Acquire Allbritton TV Stations for $985 Million

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., continuing its acquisition spree, agreed to buy TV stations owned by the Allbritton family for $985 million, gaining ABC affiliates and a 24-hour news network serving Washington, D.C.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, assuming it passes regulatory hurdles, Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Sinclair said today in a statement. Under the terms of the deal, the company is acquiring the stock of Perpetual Corp. and the equity interest of Charleston Television LLC, which are both owned by the Allbritton family.

Sinclair, the largest owner of TV stations in the U.S., had already spent about $2 billion over the past two years on acquisitions -- part of an industrywide wave of consolidation. Investors have applauded the takeover run, sending Sinclair’s shares up almost threefold over the past year.

“We are thrilled to add the Allbritton properties to our growing portfolio and national footprint,” Sinclair Chief Executive Officer David Smith said in the statement. “To buy a full-blown news operation in our nation’s capital and an infrastructure that allows us to be connected to our branches of government and be at the pulse of national issues is a once-in-a lifetime event.”

Sinclair’s stock rose 1 percent to $30.10 at the close today in New York.