Tribune Media to Sell Gracenote for $560M

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Tribune Media has agreed to sell Gracenote, its digital entertainment and data business, to Nielsen for $560 million. Tribune Media had acquired California-based Gracenote from Sony of America for $170 million in February 2014.

The deal, announced Tuesday, will net Chicago-based Tribune Media $500 million in after-tax proceeds and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

It is the latest step in Tribune Media’s process of selling off assets beyond its core broadcast holdings.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay existing debt. Tribune Media also said it will pay a special $500 million dividend to shareholders during the first quarter.

In September, Tribune Media sold its longtime home, the Tribune Tower, to CIM Group for $240 million. The Los Angeles-based developer plans to transform the historic property into a mixed-use redevelopment.

Tribune Media spun off its publishing division — including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other daily newspapers — in August 2014, retaining the broadcasting business and real-estate portfolio.