Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is in talks with Blackstone Group LP about submitting an offer to buy Tribune Media Co, one of the largest U.S. television station operators, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday. Blackstone, the largest manager of private equity and real estate assets, would provide the cash, while Fox, the owner of Fox News Channel and other assets, would provide the TV stations for the joint venture, according to one of the sources.
Another source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said bids are due on Thursday. Representatives for Tribune Media and Blackstone declined to comment. Fox could not immediately be reached for comment. The Financial Times first reported the negotiations. Nexstar Media Group Inc has also been carrying out due diligence on Tribune Media, and is weighing a bid this week, according to two sources. Nexstar could not immediately be reached for comment.
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Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc is also bidding for Tribune Media, Reuters reported in March. The potential bid from Blackstone and Fox comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to reverse a 2016 decision that limits the number of television stations some broadcasters can buy.