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Two of the world’s richest — and most controversial — brothers are considering a bid for the Los Angeles Times.
David and Charles Koch, billionaire industrialists who own Koch Industries, America’s second-largest privately held company, have expressed interest in the Tribune Co. newspapers. The Chicago-based empire emerged from a long bankruptcy Dec. 31 and has hired investment firms Evercore and JPMorgan Chase as offers have come in for its print properties.
The Koches, who some sources say are interested in the clout they could gain through the Times‘ editorial pages, could bid on their own or combine in a bid with Doug Manchester, the San Diego real estate magnate who bought the San Diego Union-Tribune in November 2011.
Tribune Co. spent more than four years in bankruptcy after being purchased by Sam Zell. Following the company’s emergence from chapter 11, it named TV industry veteran Peter Liguori, formerly of Fox Entertainment and News Corp., as its CEO. Several Hollywood figures sit on its board of directors, including Ross Levinsohn, CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, parent company of THR.
The Koch brothers have long dominated American industry; their holdings include Georgia Pacific paper products as well as major fertilizer, refinery and oil pipeline companies. More recently they have become known for their financial support of Republican candidates, especially those from the Tea Party, and the fight against regulations and legislation aimed at curbing climate change.
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