Tribune Publishing Could Sell For $815 Million To Owner Of USA Today
By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 25, 2016 6:48PM
Media conglomerate Gannett, which owns USA Today and assorted other media properties, has offered to buy Tribune Publishing for $815 million and assume the company's $390 million. Tribune Publishing owns the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and other outlets in Chicago and around the country.
The offer, according to a statement released by Gannett on Monday, amounts to a buy-price of $12.25 per share, which is 63 percent more than Tribune Publishing's current stock price.
"The combined organization would offer Tribune employees a broad range of advancement opportunities within a larger organization with the financial strength to meet the industry challenges we all face," Robert J. Dickey, president and chief executive officer of Gannett, in said in a statement.
Tribune Publishing has at least initially not been receptive to the offer, if Gannett's statement is any indication. Published with the statement is a letter Dickey sent to Tribune Publishing Monday, which says that Gannett has been "disappointed" by Tribune's response to the offer so far, and chides Tribune for their "continued refusal to begin constructive discussions with us."
Tribune Publishing has so far only tweeted that they received Gannett's offer:
Tribune Publishing Confirms Receipt of Unsolicited Proposal from Gannett— TribPub (@TribPub) April 25, 2016
Currently, Michael Ferro is the majority stakeholder in Tribune Publishing. He bought his portion of the company for $44.4 million in February, in a deal that made him the majority owner of both Chicago's daily papers: the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Since then, Ferro hasn't laid out a very clear plan for Tribune Publishing, according to Crain's Chicago.
Capital New York's Ken Doctor goes further than Crain's, calling this offer one "Ferro likely can't refuse."