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Alden Global seeks to buy forum publication



A hedge fund with a large share of Tribune Publishing the company

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People familiar with the matter said it is seeking to buy newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News.

People familiar with the matter said that Alden Global Capital LLC, which is already the largest shareholder of the Tribune and owns 32% of the shares, may disclose its offer for the company as early as Thursday. Unable to understand the details of potential bids.

Due to the bleak prospects of local newspapers, after years of decline, the market value of the Tribune is approximately US$470 million. Its stock price has not changed much this year, closing at $1

2.79 on Wednesday.

In the past 20 years, the sharp decline in revenue has led to a wave of integration and cost reduction. This transaction will have a profound impact on an industry. According to the Pew Research Center (Pew Research Center), between 2008 and 2019, the industry cut 51% of its newsroom jobs.

Tribune Publishing is one of the largest newspaper chains in the United States, publishing 9 daily newspapers in larger markets, including Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant.

Alden controls MediaNews Group, which is a privately held company that owns approximately 60 daily newspapers across the country, including the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News, and the Orange County Register. The hedge fund is known for drastically cutting the cost of its stocks.

In July of this year, Alden consolidated his position on the forum and took control of the third seat among the seven seats in exchange for an agreement to extend a suspension agreement to prevent hedge funds from increasing their holdings or conducting Hostile takeover until after June 2021.

Therefore, any transaction to increase equity may require the approval of Tribune or a majority of shareholders unrelated to Alden. The company’s second largest shareholder, about 25%, is billionaire biotechnology investor Patrick Soon-Shiong, who bought the Los Angeles Times from Tribune for $500 million in 2018.

As the industry is affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Tribune has fired dozens of reporters and closed many newsrooms completely to save real estate costs. In early December, the Tribune agreed to sell its e-commerce business Best Reviews to Nexstar Media Group the company

160 million US dollars.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com, Dana Cimilluca at dana.cimilluca@wsj.com and Lukas I.Alpert at lukas. alpert@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones Corporation. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

The print version appeared on December 31, 2020, titled “Seek Funding to Completely Purchase Forum Chain”.


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