Editor’s note the bidding war for Tribune by Gannett Company (GCI) continues. This morning Gannett raised its offer to buy Tribune to $15. According to Barron’s Oaktree Capital has urged Tribune Publishing to merge with Gannett and that could be part of the reason the bid was raised this morning.

After the initial bid GAMCO noted:
Gannett has consistently said it would be a consolidator in the newspaper industry. While the size and speed of this proposed deal may be surprising (we thought GCI might bid for a smaller publisher), the turnover in TPUB’s C-suite, TPUB’s price performance and ownership changes provided an opportunity for GCI.

Beyond cost savings, we see revenue opportunities as well. The combined company would have a true national newspaper platform reaching about 17% of US circulation and making it advantageous for national marketers. Tying the TPUB’s papers to USA Today and combining digital efforts have potential as well.

Additionally, after the first bid BWS Financial opined:

We believe if TPUB was to negotiate terms for a buyout there could be slight upside from the current bid. Our reasoning is based upon TPUB having strong brands that GCI would want plus there could be greater synergies than the $50 million GCI is projecting.
• We are putting the odds of the deal getting done at 50/50.

See the Gannett Company / Tribune press release below

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tribune Publishing Co. (NYSE: TPUB) today confirmed that it has received a revised unsolicited proposal from Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) to acquire all outstanding shares of Tribune Publishing common stock for $15.00 per share in cash.

Consistent with its fiduciary duties and commitment to acting in the best interests of shareholders, and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, Tribune Publishing’s Board of Directors will thoroughly review Gannett’s revised proposal.

The Company noted that on May 4, 2016, Tribune Publishing’s Board of Directors unanimously rejected Gannett’s unsolicited $12.25 per share cash proposal.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lazard are acting as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Tribune Publishing.

About Tribune Publishing:

Tribune Publishing Company (NYSE:TPUB) is a diversified media and marketing-solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms. The company’s diverse portfolio of iconic news and information brands includes 11 award-winning major daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and more than 180 verticals in markets, including Los Angeles; San Diego; Chicago; South Florida; Orlando; Baltimore; Carroll County and Annapolis, Md.; Hartford, Conn.; Allentown, Pa., and Newport News, Va. Tribune Publishing also offers an array of customized marketing solutions, and operates a number of niche products, including Hoy, El Sentinel and VidaLatina, making Tribune Publishing the country’s largest Spanish-language publisher. Tribune Publishing Company is headquartered in Chicago.

(TPUB-F)

Gannett Company
Gannett Company

Gannett Company