Rumor has it that News Corp — with a $2.5 billion cash kitty for acquisitions — may be mounting a new bid for the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the six other Tribune newspapers.
Rupert Murdoch and his company were first reported interested in the acquisition (in a story in the L.A. Times and elsewhere) when the papers were being shopped in late 2012 and early 2013.
No deal was struck, and last July Tribune announced that it would instead spin off the papers into a new publicly-traded company, Tribune Publishing. Tribune Publishing has recently hired a CEO and other staff, and the split is now scheduled to happen as soon as Aug. 4, but at least within the next several months.
I would not typically report a publishing rumor. This one could prove dead wrong. But a confidential tip that started this inquiry was more substantive than gossip on the street. Various circumstances would make such a deal logical for both buyer and seller.
Robert Willens, a New York-based corporate tax analyst who has previously commented on the spinoff plans, said in a phone interviews that a sale to News Corp would be plausible — but much more likely after the spinoff had been completed.… Read more