Standard General L.P.
TypeHedge fund
Founded2007; 15 years ago (2007)
Headquarters,
Key people
Soo Kim
Websitestandardgenerallp.com

Standard General L.P. is an American hedge fund headquartered in New York City. It was founded in 2007 by Soohyung "Soo" Kim and Nicholas Singer with seed capital from Reservoir Capital Group. Since 2013, Soo Kim has been the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer.[1] In 2016 Standard General L.P. was the recipient of the New York City Comptroller's Office Diverse Practitioner Award.[2]

Standard General was active in managing the bankruptcies of Aliante Casino and Hotel, American Apparel,[3] Greektown, RadioShack[4] and Young Broadcasting, which became Media General.

As reported in the 2019 10K, Standard General L.P. is the largest shareholder of Bally's Corporation.

Investment strategies

Standard General pursues a single strategy of opportunistic investing primarily in levered U.S. middle-market companies. The firm has the ability to invest across the capital structure but is better known for specializing in distressed debt. Since 2007, it has invested in both publicly traded and private entities and is known for making several control investments.

Bally's

Standard General L.P. is the largest shareholder of Bally's Corporation, formerly known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings. Soo Kim, Standard General's managing partner had been an independent director of the company since 2016 and was elected chairman of the board of directors in late 2019.[5] Kim oversaw a major expansion of its operations, including a reverse merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment to take Twin River public, and various casino acquisitions in 2020.[6][7] It also acquired rights to the Bally's brand from Caesars Entertainment and adopted it as its corporate name, with an intent to unify all of its properties under the brand.[8] The company also made moves to expand its focus on sports betting, including acquisitions in the field, and a partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group to rebrand its regional sports networks under the Bally name as part of a promotion and content agreement.[9][10][11] Kim was named "American Executive of the Year" at the 2021 Global Gaming Awards.[12]

In January 2022, Standard General offered to buy all outstanding shares in Bally's Corporation that it did not already own, valuing it at $2.07 billion.[13]

Standard Media

In April 2018, the divestiture of stations by Sinclair Broadcasting during the Tribune Media buyout opened an opportunity for Standard Media, subsidiary of Standard General, to purchase several of the stations. In the case of the stations in the Wilkes Barre, PA market, Sinclair is not the licensee of these stations and will only be selling the assets of such stations that Sinclair owns, together with its right to purchase the licenses of the stations.[14] The deal fell through when the Sinclair-Tribune merger was terminated on August 9, 2018.

The stations that were to be purchased by Standard Media included:[15]

Standard Media TV Stations
Call Sign Current Owner Affiliate Media Market
WXMI E. W. Scripps Company Fox Grand Rapids, Michigan
WPMT Tegna Fox Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
WXLV-TV Sinclair ABC Greensboro, North Carolina
WRLH-TV Sinclair Fox Richmond, Virginia
WOLF-TV Sinclair Fox Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
WQMY Sinclair MNT Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
WSWB Sinclair CW Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
KDSM-TV Sinclair Fox Des Moines, Iowa
KOKH-TV Sinclair Fox Oklahoma City

History

Media General

Standard General became the majority owner of Young Broadcasting after its emergence from chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010.[16] Young Broadcasting later merged with Media General in November 2013.[17] Following that merger, the combined Media General went on to merge with LIN Media, a transaction that would create the nation's eight largest television station group.[18] On January 27, 2016, Media General was sold to Nexstar Broadcasting.[19] Standard General profited $300 million USD from the transaction. In recognition of this series of shareholder value-creating transactions, in May 2016, Gabelli Funds inducted Media General board member Soohyung Kim into the GAMCO Management Hall of Fame.[20]

Aliante Casino and Hotel

Aliante Casino and Hotel was developed by Station Casinos and the family-owned Greenspun Corp. In connection with Station's bankruptcy proceedings, lenders took control of Aliante in 2011. From 2011 to 2016, Standard General was the largest stakeholder of ALST Casino Holdco, the owner of the Aliante Casino and Hotel in North Las Vegas. Soohyung Kim served as the CEO of ALST Casino Holdco.[21] In April 2016, Boyd Gaming agreed to purchase the ALST Casino Holdco LLC for total net cash consideration of $380 million.[22]

American Apparel

See American Apparel

RadioShack

In 2015, The New York Times described the firm as "the little-known hedge fund that is also leading the turnaround at RadioShack."[23] In 2015, during RadioShack's Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Standard General formed General Wireless (although unrelated, General Wireless was the original name for Metro by T-Mobile), to act as the owner and operator of the RadioShack brand and its assets. The new company partnered with Sprint to create co-branded stores, with Sprint's name eventually becoming the primary brand on the exterior and selling both Sprint and RadioShack-branded products and services within.[24] General Wireless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 8, 2017,[25] taking the RadioShack name through its second bankruptcy in two years. On June 12, 2017, General Wireless announced its intent to auction off the RadioShack name.[26] In late July 2018, RadioShack partnered up with HobbyTown USA to open up around 100 RadioShack "Express" stores.[27] In 2020, the assets were brought by Miami-based Retail Ecommerce Ventures.[28]

Tegna and Cox Media Group

On February 22, 2022, Tegna Inc. announced that it had agreed to be taken private by a group led by Standard General and Apollo Global Management for $24 per-share, valuing the company at $5.4 billion.[29] The company, which will retain the Tegna name, will be controlled by an affiliate of Standard General, with Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott (who previously led Young Broadcasting and Media General) becoming CEO. Affiliates of AGM, as well as Cox Media Group (which is principally owned by AGM, with Cox Enterprises as a minority shareholder) and other investors, will hold non-voting shares in the company. Tegna's digital advertising subsidiary Premion will be held as a standalone business between Standard and CMG. The sale includes a clause that will slowly increase the value that Standard and Apollo will pay per-share if the sale takes longer than nine months to close.[29][30][31]

The sale will also result in the realignment of station holdings presently associated with both companies: Standard Media's four stations WDKA, WLNE-TV, KBSI, and KLKN will be sold to Cox Media Group, which will then divest its Boston station WFXT to Tegna and Standard General, and acquire WFAA/KMPX, KHOU/KTBU, and KVUE, from Tegna.[29][30][31]

On March 30, 2022, Cox Media Group announced that it would sell 18 stations, namely KLAX in Alexandria, WICZ in Binghamton, KIEM and KVIQ-LD in Eureka, WABG, WNBD and WXVT in Greenwood, KPVI in Idaho Falls, KMVU and KFBI-LD in Medford, WHBQ in Memphis, KAYU in Spokane, WSYT in Syracuse, KOKI and KMYT in Tulsa, KCYU-LD and KFFX in Yakima and KYMA in Yuma to Imagicomm Communications—owner of the cable network INSP—for an undisclosed amount.[32][33][34][35] The sale was completed on August 1.[36]

The sale was approved by Standard General and Apollo Global Management on May 17, 2022.[37]

References

  1. ^ "Hedge Fund Rising Stars: Soohyung Kim". www.institutionalinvestor.com. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  2. ^ "Comptroller Stringer Announces First Ever Recipients Of 'Diverse Practitioner' Awards". September 13, 2016.
  3. ^ William Alden (October 23, 2014). "Drawn to Lost Causes, Hedge Fund Seeks to Turn Them Around". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Elizabeth A. Harris (August 19, 2014). "RadioShack in Need of Rewiring". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Soo Kim Appointed Chair of Twin River Board of Directors".
  6. ^ Howard Stutz (April 6, 2021). "Fixing a problematic North Las Vegas casino fueled the gaming pursuits of Bally's Soo Kim". CDC Gaming Reports. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  7. ^ Brian Hallenbeck (July 23, 2018). "Twin River to merge with Delaware casino, trade publicly". The Day. New London, CT. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  8. ^ Patrick Anderson (October 13, 2020). "Twin River could soon become Bally's". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  9. ^ Novy-Williams, Eben (2020-11-19). "Bally's Buys Sinclair RSN Naming Rights As Part of Sports Betting Push". Sportico.com. Retrieved 2020-11-19.
  10. ^ Sam Carp (January 26, 2021). "Bally's buys fantasy sports site Monkey Knife Fight in US$90m deal". SportsPro. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  11. ^ Howard Stutz (March 23, 2021). "Bally's completes acquisition of daily fantasy sports operator Monkey Knife Fight". CDC Gaming Reports. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  12. ^ America, Gaming. "Revealed: The winners of the Global Gaming Awards Las Vegas 2021". gamingamerica.com. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  13. ^ Will Feuer (January 25, 2022). "Casino operator Bally's shares jump on Standard General buyout offer". The Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)
  14. ^ "SINCLAIR ENTERS INTO AGREEMENTS TO SELL TV STATIONS RELATED TO CLOSING TRIBUNE MEDIA ACQUISITION" (PDF). SBGI: 1. 25 Apr 2018.
  15. ^ "Sinclair Enters Into Agreements To Sell TV Stations Related To Closing Tribune Media Acquisition |". sbgi.net. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  16. ^ Messmer, Jack (Aug 20, 2012). "Hedge Fund Taking Control Of Young Bcstg". NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved Feb 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "Media General Completes Merger with Young Broadcasting". prnewswire.com (Press release). Nov 12, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  18. ^ Colman, Price (Sep 24, 2014). "The Most Important, Least Known Man In TV | TVNewsCheck.com". www.tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  19. ^ Kosman, Josh (Jan 7, 2016). "Standard General sees big gain from Media General tussle". Retrieved Feb 9, 2016.
  20. ^ "Gabelli Funds Names Mark Donegan, James Dolan, Soo Kim, and Tom Gallagher to 2016 Management Hall of Fame | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. May 23, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  21. ^ "ALST Casino Holdco 2015 Form 10-K". EDGAR. SEC.
  22. ^ Beckerman, Josh (2016-04-22). "Boyd Gaming to Boost 'Locals' Business With Aliante Deal". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  23. ^ Hiroko Tabuchi (October 5, 2015). "American Apparel Files for Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  24. ^ Torpey, JC (2015-02-06). "RadioShack Bankruptcy Filing Means Sprint, Boost, Virgin Mobile, And T-Mobile To The Rescue?". The Inquisitr News. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  25. ^ J.B. Reed (Mar 8, 2017). "RadioShack files for bankruptcy". www.fortworthbusiness.com. Fort Worth Business Press. Retrieved Mar 8, 2017.
  26. ^ "RadioShack brand to be auctioned in July". newsismybusiness.com. June 12, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017 – via News is my Business.
  27. ^ Brown, Dalvin (July 2, 2018). "RadioShack plans to open 100 express locations". USA Today.
  28. ^ "Investment Firm Wants to Revive RadioShack as a Major E-Commerce Site". PCMAG. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  29. ^ a b c Szalai, Alex Weprin,Georg; Weprin, Alex; Szalai, Georg (2022-02-22). "Local TV Giant TEGNA Sold to Private Equity Firms in Mega-Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  30. ^ a b "WFAA and Houston, Austin TV stations expected to go to Cox Media in Tegna's $5.4 billion sale". Dallas News. 2022-02-22. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  31. ^ a b "Radio Implications To Today's Standard General Acquisition of TEGNA". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  32. ^ Miller, Mark (2022-03-30). "Cox Sells 18 Stations In 12 Markets To INSP". TV News Check. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  33. ^ LLC, Cox Media Group (2022-03-30). "Cox Media Group to Sell Television Stations in Twelve Markets to Imagicomm Communications". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  34. ^ Jacobson, Adam (2022-03-30). "An INSP-ired TV Deal For Cox Is Done | Radio & Television Business Report". Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  35. ^ George Winslow (2022-03-30). "Cox Media Group to Sell TV Stations in 12 Markets to Imagicomm". TVTechnology. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  36. ^ Winslow, George (August 1, 2022). "Cox Media Group, INSP Close Deal for Sale of Cox TV Stations to Imagicomm". TVTechnology. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  37. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (May 17, 2022). "Tegna Shareholders Approve Sale Of Broadcaster To Standard General, Apollo Global". Deadline Hollywood.