WSJ News Exclusive | Rival Group Makes Fully Financed, Roughly $680 Million Bid for Tribune

A Maryland lodge magnate and a Swiss billionaire have made a bid for Tribune Publishing Co. that the newspaper chain is predicted to favor over a takeover deal it already struck with hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC.

A particular committee of Tribune’s board has decided {that a} roughly $680 million, $18.50-a-share bid submitted late final week by Choice Hotels International Inc. Chairman Stewart Bainum and Hansjörg Wyss is fairly prone to result in a proposal that’s superior to Alden’s $635 million deal, folks acquainted with the matter mentioned. That is authorized deal-speak indicating Alden may have to lift its bid or threat dropping the deal.

The resolution got here after the 2 males indicated they plan to personally contribute greater than $600 million mixed, up from a earlier whole of $200 million, the folks mentioned.

Now that the group has submitted a completely financed bid, it is going to get entry to non-public monetary information to conduct due diligence and negotiate different phrases, an enormous step towards finishing an settlement that might exchange Alden’s, they mentioned. There isn’t any assure the group will reach doing so, and it’s nonetheless attainable it might change its supply or stroll away after reviewing the corporate’s funds.

If Alden loses the deal, it could mark a surprising, Eleventh-hour turnaround for the New York hedge fund, and a significant victory for critics who say its mannequin of aggressive cost-cutting has harm the native information business. Alden had spent practically a year-and-a-half positioning itself to take over Tribune, writer of 9 large-market day by day newspapers together with the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun.

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