(Reuters) – Tribune Publishing Co’s largest shareholder, Alden Global Capital, said on Thursday it had offered to take full control of the owner of the Chicago Tribune in a deal that values the company at $520.6 million.
Alden, known for its hostile takeover bids of publishing companies, has a stake of 32% stake in Tribune.
The hedge fund’s offer valued the newspaper chain at $14.25 per share, representing a premium of 11.4% to the company’s shares last closing price.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on.wsj.com/3pDnoUh the potential deal, said the hedge fund grabbed a third seat on the Chicago Tribune publisher’s board in July in exchange for an agreement to extend a standstill deal preventing Alden from increasing its stake or making a hostile bid for Tribune until after June 2021.
Tribune did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The newspaper chain, owner of the New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun, has seen a decline in revenue this year as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers the publishing industry.
A study published last month found that print newspapers saw a decline in their overall consumer reach amid the health crisis.
Commercial news media are the hardest hit by the pandemic, especially those that are advertising-based, as well as newspapers and local media, according to the findings of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism here, a research center at the University of Oxford that tracks media trends.
Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu, Arghyadeep Dutta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Vinay Dwivedi and Aditya Soni