News Column

Tribune Hires Investment Bankers to Evaluate Offers

Feb 27, 2013

Spencer Soper, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Tribune Co., the Chicago media company that owns The Morning Call, has hired two investment banking firms to help it evaluate offers it is receiving for its newspapers, which include The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

The company, which also owns television stations around the country, has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Evercore Partners to oversee the potential sale of its newspapers, Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said.

"There is a lot of interest in our newspapers, which we haven't solicited," Weitman said Tuesday. "Hiring outside financial advisors will help us determine whether that interest is credible, allow us to consider all of our options, and fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders and employees."

The announcement followed a report Tuesday by CNBC that said Tribune hired investment bankers to help it "auction" its newspapers.

The company has not made any indication it intends to unload its newspapers in haste, only that it is evaluating offers.

Tribune emerged from a four-year bankruptcy at the end of 2012 after a leveraged buy-out orchestrated by Chicago real estate investor Sam Zell went bust. Its current owners include investors who held Tribune debt when the company emerged from bankruptcy, including Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles and Angelo, Gordon & Co. in New York City.

Tribune in January appointed as its new CEO Peter Liguori, a veteran of the broadcasting industry, prompting speculation that new owners are more interested in the company's television stations than its newspapers.



Source: (c)2013 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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