Thursday, January 18, 2007

the Chandler trusts, and Eli and Ron

Tribune Co. gets buyout offer from top shareholder - MarketWatch--refer back to our post from mid-November for more on people wanting to buy media companies. What's going on here?

Tribune Co. received a buyout offer from the Chandler Trusts, its largest shareholder, representing just a modest premium to the media company's stock price -- the latest sign that the marketplace is unwilling to pay high prices for newspapers during a difficult period of transition for the industry.

"The auction limped to a close," said Prudential publishing analyst Steven Barlow.

Still, amid expectations that Tribune's board of directors is likely to be forced into action of one kind or another, the stock was driven up 2.2% to $31 on Thursday.

The Chandlers' $31.70-a-share offer, disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, would involve spinning off Tribune's broadcast and entertainment businesses into a separate, publicly traded company.

A Wall Street Journal report said billionaire investors Ronald Burkle and Eli Broad submitted a proposal for Tribune
on Wednesday, although it wasn't a buyout offer. Citing a person familiar with the proposal, the newspaper said the two investors are offering to put up $500 million in cash for a stake of about 34% of Tribune.

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