Gannett Offers $815 Million for Tribune Publishing

Makes a Second Run at Owner of Los Angeles Times

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Credit: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today, has made an unsolicited bid for Tribune Publishing Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, in a deal valued at $815 million.

Gannett offered $12.25 in cash per Tribune share, a 63% premium to Tribune's closing price on April 22, according to a statement Monday.

The company first made an approach for Tribune on April 12, and was refused, the company said.

For the owners of daily newspapers, buying competitors and slashing costs has become a way to buy time while figuring out how to make more money online. That was the logic behind the recent failed attempt by Tribune to buy two Southern California newspapers.

Last year, the industry saw the most deals for the largest amount of money since the 2008 financial crisis, with 70 daily newspapers being sold for a combined $827 million, according to mergers-and-acquisitions adviser Dirks, Van Essen & Murray.

Gannett Co. bought 15 dailies, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Tribune snapped up the San Diego Union-Tribune; and Warren Buffett's newspaper chain acquired the Free Lance–Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

-- Bloomberg News

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