McClatchy (Finally) Releases Financial Info

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By: E&P Staff

The Los Angeles private equity firm allied with the Newspaper Guild in a bid for the 12 Knight Ridder “orphans” on the block has signed a confidentiality agreement with McClatchy, the Guild confirmed Tuesday.

Yucaipa Companies will now gain access to detailed financial information about the 12 papers McClatchy is selling, “as they come to market along with other interested parties,” Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild, told Pete Carey at one of the papers, the San Jose Mercury News.

“The reference to papers ‘as they come to market’ suggests McClatchy may be selling the papers in groups or stages to different buyers, possibly believing it can obtain more money that way,” Carey writes.

Foley commented: “It’s a good thing that they’re letting our advisers and Yucaipa have access to the financials. That’s what we were missing. It sounds like the process is moving forward.”

Only bidders who took part in the earlier contest for all of Knight Ridder — which McClatchy won — had been shown the material.

A McClatchy spokeswoman declined to comment for the Mercury News.

Yucaipa last week was the only outfit to bid for all 12 Knight Ridder newspapers. The fact that McClatchy is now offering the financial information suggests that it was not fully pleased with the offers received by the deadline for the first round of bidding on the “deserted dozen” on March 28.

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