Faced with an unsolicited offer from Gannett Co., Tribune Publishing confirmed Monday that it is “thoroughly evaluating the proposal in consultation with our independent financial and legal advisors.”
The Chicago-based parent company of the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and nine other dailies across the country said it has hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lazard as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advisor.
“The Board is now engaged, with the assistance of its advisors, in a thorough review,” the company said in a statement. “The Board is committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders and will respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible.”
Gannett, owner of USA Today and more than 100 other newspapers, has offered to pay $12.25 per share, which represents a 63 percent premium to Tribune’s closing stock price or a total of about $815 million, for the company.
Here is the text of an email from Tribune Publishing CEO Justin Dearborn:
I want to update you on a recent development. A few moments ago we issued the attached press release, which details that we received an unsolicited proposal from Gannett to acquire Tribune Publishing for $12.25 per share in cash.
I want to be clear that we did not seek or encourage this proposal and the Board has not been trying to sell the Company. However, as a public company, our Board is obligated to evaluate any proposal of this nature and we take this responsibility seriously. The Board is thoroughly evaluating the proposal in consultation with our independent financial and legal advisors, and will respond to Gannett promptly. The Company is committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders.
As you know, we are engaged in a significant transformation of the Company. We are focused on delivering relevant and impactful journalism that reaches the largest global audience, using innovative technology and leveraging that content to drive transactions for our partners using sophisticated tools and analytics. In a few short months, we have made important progress. We’ve implemented a new organizational structure to increase agility and drive innovation while focusing on driving efficiencies and reducing costs. We added new talent with expertise in technology and key industry verticals such as real estate to identify and drive customer transactions. With a focused strategy and an unmatched collection of award-winning content and brands, we are well-positioned to create value for our shareholders.
The most important thing we can do right now is to focus on great journalism and informing the communities we serve. We appreciate the continued hard work and commitment of all of our employees.
If you receive any media inquiries, please direct them to Dana Meyer at email@example.com.
We appreciate the continued support and dedication of all of our employees.