Tribune Wins Orange County Register Bankruptcy Auction

Newspaper chain will acquire Freedom Communications if the deal is allowed

Tribune Publishing Co. has agreed to purchase the Orange County Register and its sister newspaper, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, for $56 million.

The newspaper chain whose holdings include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune was the successful bidder at a public bankruptcy auction to acquire substantially all of the assets of Freedom Communications, Inc.

“The successful bid for the business of Freedom Communications will allow the Orange County Register and the Press-Enterprise to continue providing a distinct local voice in their communities and deliver premium news and information to consumers across Southern California,” said Justin Dearborn, CEO of Tribune Publishing.

Freedom declared Chapter 11 in November. Tribune’s successful bid is subject to Bankruptcy Court approval at a hearing currently scheduled for Monday. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the bid, Tribune Publishing has agreed to pay $56 million in cash for the Freedom business and its real estate in Santa Ana and Riverside, California.