Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Bid Emerges To Acquire Chicago Sun-Times

A second suitor has emerged for the Chicago Sun-Times — hoping to keep Tronc, the owner of the Chicago Tribune, from owning both Windy City daily papers.

Edwin Eisendrath, who once ran for governor of Illinois after serving as a Chicago alderman, has the backing of about 15 wealthy individuals and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

The group beat a 5 p.m. Monday deadline requiring a letter of intent, supporting financial documentation and an operating plan to run Chicago's longtime No. 2 newspaper.

Terms of the offer were not disclosed, but Eisendrath said the effort has raised about $15 million, supported by 10 to 15 investors he declined to name.

"We've raised a lot of money," said Eisendrath, 59. "It's a remarkable thing that Chicagoans have done in a very short time."

The Chicago Tribune reports Eisendrath did not discuss specific plans for running the Sun-Times, but said the paper would adhere to its tradition as a voice for the working class, which he believes is a pathway to future success.

The Sun-Times has been working closely with the antitrust division of the Justice Department to solicit alternatives to a previous bid from the rival Chicago Tribune's parent company, Tronc.

Chicago-based Tronc, which owns the Tribune, Los Angeles Times and seven other major newspapers, announced May 15 it had entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Wrapports — whose properties include the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader — for an undisclosed price.

While Tronc has pledged the Sun-Times would remain an independent news operation, the Justice Department historically has sought to preserve competition within a market through separate ownership.

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