The Gannett Company has floated an offer of $815 million for the Tribune Publishing Company, which owns a number of newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, would also assume the company’s debt, The New York Times reports.
“Gannett’s proposal, disclosed on Monday, is for $12.25 a share in cash — a premium of 63 percent to the company’s closing stock price on Friday,” The Times reports. “Tribune Publishing’s shares, which closed at $7.52 on April 22, skyrocketed in premarket trading Monday.”
Tribune Publishing was spun off in August 2014 from Tribune Company, which is now called Tribune Media and which owns and operates 42 broadcast stations. At the time, Tribune Publishing was saddled with about $350 million in debt, The Times notes. “Since then, its stock has tumbled as Tribune Publishing’s newspapers, like many print publications, have struggled with declining circulation and dwindling print advertising revenue,” the report notes.
“According to a letter disclosed by Gannett, Tribune Publishing was unwilling to engage in discussions about a takeover,” The Times adds. “In a separate statement, however, Tribune Publishing said it had hired advisers to review the proposal.”