Hedge Fund Reaches a Deal to Buy Tribune Publishing

Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that has drastically cut costs at newspapers it controls, moved a significant step closer on Tuesday toward acquiring Tribune Publishing, the publisher of nine major metropolitan dailies including The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel and The Daily News.

Tribune Publishing announced on Tuesday that Alden, a 32 percent stakeholder in the newspaper company, would buy the shares it did not already own for $17.25 apiece, putting the sale price at $630 million. The companies said they expected to close in the second quarter this year.

The Baltimore Sun, one of Tribune’s major papers, will not be part of the sale. Under the terms, it will be sold to a nonprofit formed by Stewart Bainum Jr., a Maryland entrepreneur. Tribune previously disclosed it had entered into talks with Mr. Bainum.

Philip G. Franklin, the chairman of the Tribune Publishing board, said in a statement on Tuesday that the agreement with Alden was for “a premium, all-cash price, which the committee concluded was superior to the available alternatives.”

Alden put out a separate statement: “Our commitment to ensuring the sustainability of robust local journalism is well established and this is part of that effort.”

The deal still requires approval by the shareholders who own the roughly two-thirds of Tribune Publishing stock that Alden does not already own. The largest holder of those shares is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a medical entrepreneur who with his wife, Michele B. Chan, bought a group of California papers, including The Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune, from Tribune Publishing in 2018 for $500 million. Dr. Soon-Shiong owns roughly 25 percent of Tribune Publishing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Tagged buy, deal, fund, Hedge, Publishing, reaches, Tribune