UPDATE 1-Tribune to buy 19 local TV stations for $2.73 billion
(Adds details on Tribune's financing, background)
July 1 (Reuters) - Tribune Co said it would acquire 19 television stations from Local TV Holdings LLC for $2.73 billion in cash, a deal that would make it the largest TV station owner in the United States.
The deal is another step for Tribune, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, to transform itself largely to a broadcast company as it seeks to sell off its newspaper division.
Tribune currently has 23 television stations and eight newspapers and emerged from bankruptcy protection in December.
Local TV is principally owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners.
Tribune is the latest company to snap up local TV stations as the industry consolidates. Last month, Gannett Co, the largest U.S. newspaper chain, bought Belo Corp and its 20 local TV stations for $1.5 billion.
Tribune said it had received financing of up to $4.1 billion from JPMorgan Chase & Co, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group. This includes a new $300 million revolving credit facility and the capacity to refinance existing debt.
(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Lisa Von Ahn)