Sat - 23.09.2017

Tribune shareholders approve deal to go private

Tribune shareholders approve deal to go private

Voting to approve the company's $8.2 billion plan to go private, 97 percent of Tribune Co. shares were cast Tuesday morning in favor of Chicago real-estate mogul Sam Zell's buyout plan of $34 per share.

The Chicago media holding company has bought half the company's outstanding shares at the $34 price tag, and although shareholders have formally approved the deal, Wall Street speculators are skeptical the deal will even go through.

As earnings continue to erode and debt mounts, trading prices dipped to below $26 a share last week, the lowest in nine years. The widening gap between last week's price and the $34 per share deal made with Zell in April has analysts scratching their heads, despite apparently resounding support from shareholders.

Chief Executive Dennis FitzSimons said the agreement has a clause governing any pullout by the financing group, which is based not on financial problems the Tribune is experiencing, but problems the entire newspaper industry is having as a whole, such as declining circulation due to the Internet and a drop in ad sales.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, one of the Tribune Co.'s flagship newspapers, FitzSimons said the company expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter, pending approval by federal regulators. He also said there are no plans to sell any newspaper assets as part of the buyout.



Leah McBride Mensching


2007-08-22 07:01

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