Gannett Raises Takeover Offer for Los Angeles Times Owner Tribune to $864M

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Los Angeles Times building

Tribune Publishing Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and other daily papers, had rejected the initial bid.

Newspaper giant Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, said Monday that it has increased its takeover offer for Tribune Publishing Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and other daily papers, to $864 million.

The offer is for $15 per share, up from $12.25 in cash per Tribune share, or approximately $864 million, up from $815 million. The total value includes the assumption of certain Tribune liabilities.

Tribune Publishing had rejected the initial bid despite some shareholders' call for negotiations about a deal.

Gannett said its decision to submit a revised offer "reflects additional analysis of certain information revealed in Tribune's financial statements filed on May 5, 2016, including debt, cash balance and pension liabilities." It added that "after further review, Gannett has greater confidence in its ability to yield additional operational improvements in this transaction."

It said though that "these expectations are subject to the completion of confirmatory due diligence."

Said John Jeffry Louis, chairman of Gannett: “Our increased offer demonstrates our commitment to engaging in serious and meaningful negotiations with the Tribune Board to reach a mutually agreeable transaction where Gannett acquires all of Tribune. It is evident from our discussions with Tribune shareholders that there is overwhelming support for the companies to engage immediately regarding our proposed transaction. By increasing our offer at this time, we are reaffirming Gannett’s belief that this transaction would deliver significant value to both companies’ stakeholders and that the time to act is now.”

Both Gannett and Tribune are newspaper companies created in separations of larger media companies' print and TV and other operations. Gannett announced its separation in summer 2014 and completed it last summer. Its TV stations business is now called Tegna.

Gannett also owns such media properties as the Detroit Free Press, The Des Moines Register and such sports websites as MMAjunkie.com, baseballhq.com and hoopshype.com. It is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as measured by total daily circulation.

 

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