Groups of private equity companies are showing interest in acquiring Tribune Co., which hopes to conclude its sales process by the end of the year, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
Three main contenders have so far emerged in the process that could see companies submit non-binding indications of interest in acquiring the Tribune Co. One consists of Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners and Apollo Management. A second is an alliance of Thomas H. Lee Partners and Texas Pacific Group. Carlyle Group is active in the process, but it isn’t yet clear if it will participate alone or join one of the other two.
Tribune Co., which is considering its options amid weak financial results, an uncertain future and a divided board of directors, hopes to conclude the sales process by year’s end and has asked potential sellers to signal their interest by the end of this month, according to a story by Dennis K. Berman and Sarah Ellison in the Wall Street Journal.
The sentiment on Wall Street is that the Tribune auction is still a toss-up, the story says, as those close to the process ponder whether bidders will be willing to offer a high enough price to entice the company’s board.
Tribune’s fate will be closely watched to determine the options for other companies that the market has viewed as possible leveraged buyout candidates, including Belo Corp., Sun-Times Media Group Inc. and even Gannett Co. The culprit: steep declines in print advertising revenue thanks to the rise of the Internet as a force in providing news and information.
To read the entire story, available to subscribers of WSJ.com, click here.