By Brian Hews
Gannett, which owns USA Today, has offered $815 million for Tribune Publishing, one of the largest newspaper publishers in the United States and owner of the Los Angeles Times.
The $12.25 cash offer per share represents a 63 percent premium over Tribune’s closing stock price on Friday.
Tribune Publishing released this statement on Monday:
On receiving the April 12 proposal, the Company communicated by telephone to Gannett that the Board of Directors would engage financial and legal advisors to assist it in reviewing the proposal. On April 22, Tribune Publishing’s Board sent a letter to Gannett indicating it was finalizing engagements with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lazard as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advisor. The Board is now engaged, with the assistance of its advisors, in a thorough review. The Board is committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders and will respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible.
Gannett made the offer on April 12 privately, according to a report in USA Today, and followed up with a letter dated April 25 from Gannett’s CEO to new Tribune CEO Justin Dearborn. Gannett’s offer includes the assumption of $390 million in Tribune debt.
The letter reads, in part:
“We believe Gannett is uniquely willing and able to propel Tribune into the position of strength that will allow its beloved and historic publications and other assets to survive and thrive in this challenging environment. Given the opportunity to benefit from the significant premium and near-term liquidity, we are confident that Tribune’s stockholders will embrace our offer.”
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