Gannett Adds $50 Million to Tribune Publishing Takeover Offer

Gannett chairman says new offer “demonstrates our commitment to engaging in serious and meaningful negotiations”

Last Updated: May 16, 2016 @ 7:23 AM

Gannett has raised its hostile takeover bid for Tribune Publishing by $50 million, to $864 million.

Tribune, whose media properties include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, turned down the original offer of $815 million earlier this month and public conversation between top executives at the two companies has gotten ugly since the unsolicited takeover attempt.

Gannett Chairman John Jeffry Louis said the new offer “demonstrates our commitment to engaging in serious and meaningful negotiations with the Tribune Board to reach a mutually agreeable transaction where Gannett acquires all of Tribune,” in a statement to Poynter on Monday morning.

Tribune brass has called Gannett’s aggressive takeover attempt an “opportunistic raid” that undervalued the company. However, Oaktree Capital, Tribune Publishing’s No. 2 shareholder, has reportedly lobbied for continued negotiations.

The Gannett statement continued, “It is evident from our discussions with Tribune shareholders that there is overwhelming support for the companies to engage immediately regarding our proposed transaction. By increasing our offer at this time, we are reaffirming Gannett’s belief that this transaction would deliver significant value to both companies’ stakeholders and that the time to act is now. We encourage Tribune’s shareholders to send a clear message to their Board to engage immediately with Gannett regarding our revised all-cash, premium offer.”

Tribune has confirmed that it has received a revised unsolicited proposal from Gannett to acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune Publishing common stock for $15.00 per share in cash. Tribune Publishing’s Board of Directors will thoroughly review Gannett’s revised proposal, according to a press release the company posted on its website.