Journal Register Says It’s Through As Public Company

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Its stock delisted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and shunned by investors, troubled community newspaper publisher Journal Register Co. said late Thursday it intends to stop filing reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register said its board of directors concluded that being a public company just isn’t worth it anymore.

In a statement, the publisher of the New Haven (Conn.) Register, 21 other dallies and 300 community papers, said that “that in light of the NYSE’s action to delist the shares and the company’s limited ability to access the public capital markets for its foreseeable financing needs, the advantages of being a public company are outweighed by the significant accounting, legal, competitive and administrative costs associated with the reporting requirements for public companies.”

Journal Register said it will continue to report results to stockholders in accordance with Delaware law, and will issue press releases disclosing quarterly and annual financial results. It said it will also “maintain many of the corporate governance improvements the company has made in recent years.”

Journal Register has been hammered even harder than its peers by the newspaper industry recession. Its cluster of Michigan dailies have performed particularly poorly — and the debt taken on for their acquisition has been burdensome. On Wall Street, investors bid Journal Register stock to as low as 16 cents a share before it was delisted.

Journal Register said it will file a Form 15 with the SEC, which will immediately end its obligation to file quarterly and annual reports.

“The company anticipates that its common stock will continue to be quoted on the Pink Sheets, a centralized electronic quotation service for over-the-counter securities, to the extent market makers demonstrate an interest in trading in the company’s common stock,” Journal Register said. “However, the Company can give no assurance that trading in its stock will continue in the Pink Sheets or in any other forum.”

Before the announcement, Journal Register (Other OTC: JRCO-PK) ended 4 p.m. EDT trading at 28 cents a share, down 1 cent, or 3.45%.

Journal Register’s annual meeting is Friday.

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