May 1, 2017 / 12:35 AM / 4 months ago

Twenty-First Century Fox in talks with Blackstone to buy Tribune

FILE PHOTO - The 21st Century Fox logo is seen outside the News Corporation headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 29, 2016.Brendan McDermid/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH 'BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD 6 FEB' FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX2ZRW7

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) is in talks with Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) about submitting an offer to buy Tribune Media Co (TRCO.N), 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 (NXST.O) 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.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc (SBGI.O) 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.

Reporting by Lauren Hirsch, Liana Baker and Jessica Toonkel in New York and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Writing by Dan Freed in New York; Editing by Will Dunham

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