McClatchy Cleared to Acquire Knight-Ridder Papers

But Justice Department Says It Must Sell 'St. Paul Pioneer Press'

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The McClatchy and Knight-Ridder merger has cleared its final hurdle. One day after Knight-Ridder shareholders voted to approve their company's sale to McClatchy Co., the U.S. Department of Justice blessed the $4.1 billion deal as well.
McClatchy is dealing the 'St. Paul Pioneer Press' to MediaNews Group.
McClatchy is dealing the 'St. Paul Pioneer Press' to MediaNews Group.

The Justice Department's one catch: McClatchy -- which already operates the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- has to divest Knight-Ridder's St. Paul Pioneer Press, which doesn't figure to be a problem because the chain reached a deal to ship the paper to MediaNews Group as part of a four-paper, three company $1 billion transaction agreed to in April.

After winning the auction to buy Knight-Ridder in March, McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said the company would flip 11 Knight-Ridder papers in slower-growing markets such as Philadelphia and San Jose, Calif., to other buyers, and that it planned to move the Pioneer Press for antitrust reasons.

Knight-Ridder announced June 26 that its shareholders voted to approve its sale to McClatchy by a 54.4 million to 805,000 margin.
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