Global Broadcasting of Southern New England did not pick a great time to acquire Providence RI-New Bedford MA ABC affiliate WLNE-TV, and now the process is under way to find a new owner. According to brokerage CobbCorp, which is handling the sale, group owner Citadel Communications has stepped forward with a stalking horse bid, opening the door for further offers.
Global acquired the station for a reported $14M just as the advertising business went into its slump, and the result was a virtual bankruptcy under Rhode Island law, along with the hiring of CobbCorp to help peddle the station.
Court-appointed receiver Matthew McGowan made the key announcement. He said, “We are very pleased that an established, successful and financially secure company like Citadel has emerged as the stalking horse bidder in this process. We have a number of other well-qualified offerors who are interested in acquiring the station, and now that the stalking horse bid has been established, we are prepared to move forward toward obtaining court-approval for a sale.”
Interested parties have until March 18 to submit competing bids. There will be a hearing in the Superior Court in Providence on March 22 during which the prevailing bidder will be selected and approved by the Court. CobbCorp is functioning as the exclusive advisor (212) 812-5020.