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Swiss Billionaire Hansjörg Wyss Drops Out of Bid to Acquire Tribune Publishing

Hotel magnate Stewart Bainum Jr. is seeking a new financing partner in attempt to outbid hedge fund Alden Capital

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has dropped his bid for Tribune Publishing after his associates did due diligence by examining its finances, according to a report in The New York Times.

According to the report, Wyss, who is a medical device manufacturer, “had come to believe it would be difficult for him to realize his ambition of transforming The Chicago Tribune — the company’s flagship paper and the one he was most interested in — into a national publication.”

Hotel magnate Stewart Bainum Jr. is said to still be committed to making a bid for the whole publisher that would exceed the offer from hedge fund Alden Global Capital and is currently searching for alternative financing.

Back in February, Tribune Publishing — the publisher of the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and a number of other papers — agreed to be acquired by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital in a $630 million deal.

Under the agreement, Alden, which already owns about 32% of Tribune’s shares, will acquire the remaining shares it doesn’t already own for $17.25 per share. The Baltimore Sun will not be part of the acquisition and will instead be sold to Sunlight for All Institute, a nonprofit formed by Bainum.

After the deal is closed, which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2021, Tribune Publishing will become a privately held company.