Report: Chandlers Extend Tribune Offer

By: E&P Staff

Chandler Trusts is extending its offer for Tribune Co. past the previous Wednesday evening deadline, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source close to the family trusts.

The offer, proposed two weeks ago, had a 5 p.m. EST deadline.

There was no word if the offer has been changed from its original terms, which would spin off Tribune’s television properties into a new publicly traded company while taking the newspaper business private. Current Tribune stockholders would get stock in the new company valued at $12.40, plus $19.30 per share in cash.

A committee of independent Tribune directors is evaluating this offer from one of its largest shareholders — the Chandlers own approximately 20% of the company as a result of the sale of Times Mirror in 2000 — as well as offers from billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle, and a separate offer for the TV assets alone. Tribune management is reportedly also working with private equity firms to devise a plan to take the newspapers private while selling off television operations as well as the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The Chandler offer of $31.70 a share, or $7.6 billion, is only a slight premium over Tribune’s recent stock price. The stock closed Wednesday up 9 cents to $30.54.

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