November 9, 2007 / 7:27 PM / 12 years ago

Bids due for News Corp television stations-sources

NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Final bids are due on Friday for the nine television stations media conglomerate News Corp. NWSa.N put up for sale in June, two sources familiar with the situation said.

Interest in the assets has come from private equity, those sources said, although it was unclear how many bidders would submit final offers. One source estimated that the assets could fetch bids in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said in June it retained Allen & Co. as adviser to sell nine of its Fox-affiliated television stations. Allen & Co. did not return a call for comment. News Corp. declined comment.

The past few months have been tough to do deals amid turmoil in the debt markets, sparked by the subprime loan crisis. Some broadcast deals have been put on hold or face being renegotiated or pulled.

Clear Channel Communications Inc. (CCU.N) said on Friday that Providence Equity Partners was considering withdrawing from a $1.2 billion deal to buy the radio operator’s television assets. The private equity firm is considering its options because of underperformance at the stations, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

In addition, television broadcaster Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. (NXST.O) in August suspended talks with prospective buyers while LIN TV Corp. TVL.N, which said in May it was exploring a possible sale, has not announced any deal.

However, privately held Raycom Media appears close to buying the television assets of insurance and investment firm Lincoln National Corp. (LNC.N), two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters in October. (Reporting by Megan Davies and Kenneth Li, editing by Mark Porter)

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