Monday, October 8, 2018

Tribune Publishing, McClatchy ThisClose On Merger

Tribune Publishing — up until last Thursday known as Tronc — is inching closer to a potential merger with the McClatchy Co.

The NY Post reports a source as saying the parties are “trying to fast-track it” now that billionaire LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong is offering to sweeten a pending deal by kicking up to $150 million in cash into the pot.

That comes in addition to Soon-Shiong rolling his 25 percent stock holding in Tribune Publishing into the proposed new company. The other 75 percent of shares of Tribune — whose holdings include the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel and the NY Daily News — will have to be bought out. Most are expecting that tab will eventually come to around $500 million.

Soon-Shiong is trying to put together a buyout deal in conjunction with the McClatchy family — which controls the publisher of the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star and 27 other daily papers — and Chatham Asset Management, which has agreed to swap its $300 million in McClatchy loans for equity in a combined company.

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