Alden Global Capital, the US hedge fund with a track record in ailing newspapers has bid for ownership of Chicago Tribune parent company Tribune Publishing. The deal is thought to value the company at $520m, with Alden’s bid to buy the remaining equity not already in its control coming in at $14.25 /share.
That price represents an 11% premium on the previous stock price but only a 3.6 x estimated 2020/21 earnings. Alden already holds 32% of the equity. The bid is meeting some resistance from executives and journalists.
The company already has a portfolio of over 200 titles within its MediaNews Group operation, including the Denver Post and the Orange County Register. The proposed deal would include the New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing has had a challenging few years with the sale of the LA Times, an abandoned rebrand as Tronc, a 50% headcount reduction at the New York Daily News and the closure of multiple newsrooms.