Tribune Publishing’s board of directors recommended that shareholders approve an offer to buy by hedge fund Alden Global Capital for a higher bid from a hotel manager in Maryland, according to a securities notice filed Tuesday.
The filing comes a week after Stewart W. Bainum Jr., a hotel tycoon, made an offer of $ 18.50 per share for the entire company. Mr Bainum had initially agreed with Alden to outsource three of Tribune’s titles – The Baltimore Sun and two smaller Maryland newspapers – for $ 65 million. Negotiations between Alden and Mr. Banium over the details of the company agreements that would come into effect when the Maryland Papers passed from one owner to another failed, however, and prompted Mr. Banium to pursue an offer to buy the entire Tribune.
Alden, Tribune’s largest shareholder with a 32 percent stake, agreed last month to buy the rest of the company for $ 17.25 a share and make it private to value the company at $ 630 million. Alden would buy all of the company’s remaining papers, including The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News.
Alden has been criticized for firing journalists and reducing local coverage in the roughly 60 newspapers he already owns. The hedge fund says it is preventing local newspapers from going out of business.