Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that has slashed the cost of newspapers it controls, is on Tuesday to acquire Tribune Publishing, the publisher of nine major daily newspapers in major cities including The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel and The Daily News, came a significant step closer.
Tribune Publishing announced Tuesday that Alden, a 32 percent shareholder in the newspaper company, would buy the shares it did not already own for $ 17.25 apiece, equivalent to a sale price of $ 630 million. The companies announced that they are expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
The Baltimore Sun, one of the Tribune’s top newspapers, will not be part of the sale. Under the terms, it will be sold to a nonprofit founded by Stewart Bainum Jr., a Maryland entrepreneur. Tribune previously announced that it had started talks with Mr Bainum.
Philip G. Franklin, chairman of the Tribune Publishing Board, said in a statement on Tuesday that the agreement with Alden “provided for a premium cash price which the committee believed was superior to the alternatives available”.
Alden made a separate statement: “Our commitment to the sustainability of resilient local journalism is well established and this is part of that effort.”
The deal has yet to be approved by shareholders, who own roughly two-thirds of Tribune Publishing’s stock that Alden does not yet own. The largest holder of these shares is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a medical entrepreneur who with his wife Michele B. Chan purchased a group of California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, from Tribune Publishing in 2018 for $ 500 million. Dr. Soon-Shiong owns approximately 25 percent of Tribune Publishing.
This is a developing story. Check for updates again.