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Report: Tribune Media in new round of talks for its sale

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Report: Tribune Media in new round of talks for its sale

Tribune Media Co. is starting a new round of discussions for its sale not long after it terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. in August, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

According to the sources, the U.S. TV station owner is working with financial advisers Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities LLC to field interest from potential buyers, such as rival Nexstar Media Group Inc. and private equity firms. The talks are still at an early stage and there is no certainty that a deal will come through, the sources said.

Earlier, the proposed $3.9 billion sale of Tribune to Sinclair faced opposition from a number of consumer and media groups on the grounds it would give Sinclair too much power and reach within the broadcast community.

Sinclair had sought to assuage regulatory concerns through a number of station divestitures. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in July, unanimously voted to refer the deal to an administrative law judge for review, a process that could take months or years and that was widely viewed as a death knell for the transaction.

Tribune also filed a lawsuit against the broadcaster in the Delaware Chancery Court for allegedly breaching the merger agreement between the two companies. Tribune is seeking approximately $1 billion reflecting a lost premium to Tribune's stockholders and additional damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

Sinclair recently responded to Tribune's lawsuit with a countersuit of its own, claiming it was Tribune that breached the contract between the two companies, as it did not faithfully try to execute the deal.