The McClatchy Co. announced it will extend the date for selling its Miami property for US$190 million, Editor & Publisher reported last week. The venture was planned to be concluded by the end of 2008.
However, since the buyers of the 10-acre-large land close to The Miami Herald office are experiencing difficulties securing financing, McClatchy has changed the deadline until June 30 this year. Citisquare Group has now renounced its right of first refusal to buy the newspaper's land, Reuters reported last week.
Citisquare paid the publishing group US$10 million as a non-refundable deposit, E&P reported. The firm has the option to postpone the date until Dec. 31, 2009, by elevating the termination cost to McClatchy in case the deal does not happen.
"While we would have preferred to close the transaction at the end of this year so that we could repay debt with the proceeds, we are happy to have preserved an important deal for both parties," McClatchy Chief Financial Officer Pat Talamantes said Dec. 30, according to E&P. "We believe this extension will allow time for credit markets to improve so the buyer can obtain the needed financing to complete the deal."
McClatchy may still be struggling to pay the $2 billion debt that resulted in the publisher's purchase of the "defunct" group Knight Ridder Inc., which previously owned the Herald, according to Reuters.