Alden Global Capital, the New York hedge fund that bought Tribune Publishing this year, said on Monday that it was making an offer for another big American newspaper chain, Lee Enterprises, the publisher of 90 daily newspapers including The Buffalo News, The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Omaha World-Herald.
Inside Alden Global Capital — The model is simple: gut the staff, sell the real estate, jack up subscription prices and wring out as much cash as possible.
Terry Jimenez, the chief executive of Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News, has been fired in the wake of the takeover by hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Heath Freeman, president of Alden, was named president of the newly formed Tribune Enterprises, with Alden controlling all seven board seats.
Alden Global Capital, which already owned one-third of Tribune, now takes full control of the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other Tribune papers in a deal worth roughly $630 million. Through its Digital First Media chain, Alden also owns the Boston Herald, Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News. The deal had drawn opposition from many of the company’s journalists at papers in an unusual spate of employee activism.
Shareholders of Tribune Publishing will vote on the company’s sale to Alden Global Capital. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire who owns The Los Angeles Times, could determine the outcome.
Opposition to hedge fund takeover of Tribune Publishing is bubbling up ahead of next week’s deal vote, including three legal fights, plans for multi-city rallies and written pleas for new buyers. “Please buy this newspaper,” ran a May 5 headline in the New York Daily News.
Stewart Bainum is making a third try to keep the newspaper chain away from the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which is poised to be the company’s next owner.
Tribune said it no longer thinks it likely Stewart Bainum Jr.’s effort will result in a “superior proposal” to that of Alden Global Capital and has closed the books to other potential investors.
Hansjörg Wyss was part of a serious offer for the major newspaper chain that could have prevented it from being sold to the hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
A Maryland hotel magnate and a Swiss billionaire have made a bid for Tribune TPCO 0.22% Publishing Co. that the newspaper chain is expected to favor over a takeover deal it already struck with hedge fund Alden Global Capital. A special committee of Tribune’s board has determined that a roughly $680 million, $18.50-a-share bid submitted late last week by Choice Hotels International Chairman Stewart Bainum and Hansjörg Wyss is reasonably likely to lead to a proposal that is superior to Alden’s $635 million deal, people familiar with the matter said. That is legal deal-speak indicating Alden may need to raise its bid or risk losing the deal.
The philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss has teamed with the Maryland hotel executive Stewart Bainum in a bid to upend Alden Global Capital’s plan to acquire the newspaper chain.
Stewart W. Bainum Jr., a hotel magnate, made an $18.50 per share offer for the whole company, while Alden Global Capital had offered $17.25 per share.
Margaret Sullivan: “When Alden Global Capital announced Tuesday that it was positioned to buy the Chicago Tribune and several other major newspapers, its statement might have sounded promising. But only if you knew nothing about how this hedge fund has sucked much of the life out of the newspapers it already owns in places like Denver and San Jose.”
Journalists at newspapers across the United States were despondent Tuesday when they learned their parent company would be sold to Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund notorious for gutting newsrooms. But at their sister paper, the Baltimore Sun, people were celebrating an apparent reprieve. The Sun was not bound for the hedge-fund chopping block like several other papers owned by Tribune Publishing. Instead, a Maryland business executive and philanthropist plans to buy Baltimore’s nearly 184-year-old newspaper and preserve it as a nonprofit.
Hedge fund Alden Global Capital will acquire Tribune Publishing, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, in a deal worth $630 million. The companies announced on Tuesday that Alden will acquire all of the outstanding shares in Tribune that Alden doesn’t currently own for $17.25 per share in cash.
The hedge fund, which already owns a big stake in Tribune Publishing, could disclose an offer for the newspaper chain as soon as today, according to people familiar with the matter.
Heath Freeman is the hedge fund guy who says he wants to save local news. Somehow, no one’s buying it.
Alden Global Capital’s strategy: Buy newspapers, slash jobs, sell the buildings. Now it’s bidding to buy Gannett, operator of the nation’s largest chain of daily newspapers by circulation, including USA Today — as well as its $900 million in remaining property and equipment — for more than $1.3 billion.
Newspaper company and online innovator Journal Register Co. was sold to hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.