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Alternative bidders emerge for newspaper chain Tribune: report
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A group of alternative bidders is emerging for newspaper chain Tribune Publishing, which had agreed to a $630 million acquisition by hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that a billionaire who lives in Wyoming, Hansjörg Wyss, was joining a bid for Tribune with Maryland hotel mogul Stewart Bainum. The Times reported that both would commit up to $100 million to the $650 million bid. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Mason Slaine, a Tribune investor who has previously said he wanted to buy the Tribune's Florida papers, is also willing to commit $100 million in financing. In an email, Slaine confirmed his interest in joining the bid and owning the papers but said it depended on "diligence and terms.”
The Tribune board has endorsed Alden's offer, but allowed Bainum to pursue financing for his bid.
TRIBUNE PUBLISHING TO BE BOUGHT BY HEDGE FUND ALDEN GLOBAL CAPITAL
Alden, which owns one of the country's largest newspaper chains including the Boston Herald, the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, became Tribune Publishing’s largest shareholder in 2019 and now holds a 32% stake.
Tribune journalists have decried the Alden deal. The hedge fund is known for slashing costs and shrinking newsrooms at the newspapers it acquires in order to squeeze out profits, notable moves even in an industry characterized by cost cuts and layoffs. The unions at Tribune papers have pushed for alternative buyers for the company’s papers.