Tribune Publishing rejects Gannett’s bid – USA TODAY

6 months ago Comments Off on Tribune Publishing rejects Gannett’s bid – USA TODAY

Tribune Publishing, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other daily newspapers, said Wednesday its board of directors has unanimously rejected Gannett’s $815 million offer to buy the company.

“Tribune Publishing’s board has unanimously determined that Gannett’s opportunistic proposal understates the company’s true value and is not in the best interests of its shareholders,” Tribune said in a statement.

Tribune shares rose 4.4% to $11.50 in after-hours trading.

Gannett, which owns USA TODAY and 107 local news properties, revealed its offer to buy Tribune Publishing for $12.25 per share and assume $390 million of Tribune’s debt, bringing the total value of the bid to $815 million.

“Tribune Publishing is in the early stages of a compelling transformation, with a well-defined strategic plan to drive increasing monetization of our important brands, capitalize on the global potential of the LA Times and significantly accelerate our conversion of content to revenue through an enhanced digital strategy,” Tribune CEO Justin Dearborn said in a statement. “While the Board is always open to evaluating any credible proposal that it believes to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders, Gannett’s opportunistic proposal understates the Company’s true value and is not a basis for further discussion. The Board is confident that the execution of our standalone strategic plan will generate shareholder value in excess of Gannett’s proposal.”

Tribune, based in Chicago, also said Wednesday it swung to a loss in the first quarter as rising circulation revenue couldn’t offset an advertising sales drop and higher expenses.

Net loss for the three-month period ending March 27 totaled $6.5 million vs. $2.5 million of net profit a year ago.

Per-share earnings, after adjusting for some items, including employee buyout costs, were 23 cents, below 25 cents estimated by analysts who were polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Revenue was relatively flat at $398.2 million.

Advertising sales fell 4.4% to $214.7 million. Circulation revenue rose 11.4% to $121.8 million.

Tribune Publishing rejects Gannett’s bid – USA TODAY

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