Gannett raises bid for Tribune Publishing in US

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, raised its unsolicited offer for Tribune Publishing to $15 (€13.25) per share from $12.25, valuing the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times at about $475m.

Including debt, the offer is worth about $864m.

Tribune’s shares rose 22.1% to $14 shortly after midday, below the latest offer, which was set at a premium of 31% to Tribune’s Friday close.

Tribune’s board adopted a shareholder rights plan earlier this month to thwart Gannett.

Gannett said the latest bid followed an analysis of Tribune’s debt and pension liabilities.

“In addition, after further review, Gannett has greater confidence in its ability to yield additional operational improvements in this transaction,” the company said.

Tribune said it would thoroughly review the revised offer.

Oaktree Capital Group, the third-largest shareholder in Tribune, urged the company to negotiate a deal with Gannett earlier this month. Oaktree holds a 14.8% stake in Tribune.

The offer comes as newspapers struggle with declining circulation, rising costs, and falling advertising sales, pushing publishers to consolidate and find new areas of growth.

Gannett shares were 1.6% higher at $15.88.


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