By: Editorial Staff
Times Mirror Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, says it plans to sell several units, sharpening its focus on newspapers, magazines, and flight information services, its core businesses. The company also is setting up an investment fund to make up to $500 million in equity purchases.
“The anticipated sales will result in a highly focused company building on our core strengths in newspapers, [flight information unit] Jeppesen Sanderson, and magazines,” chairman, president, and ceo Mark H. Willes says. He says he expects the changes to boost next year’s earning-per-share rate to the mid-teens.
Times Mirror says it plans to sell AchieveGlobal, its troubled training company; the Allen Communications software company; the StayWell health information company; and The Sporting News magazine.
Times Mirror will retire a portion of the shares owned by the Chandler Trusts, its biggest shareholder, to maintain a balance between public and Chandler family ownership. The trust will reduce its voting control to 65% from 73% while retaining majority ownership.
Times Mirror and the trust each will contribute $1.23 billion in assets to a fund to be used, in part, for investments. Thomas Unterman, 54, Times Mirror executive vice president and chief financial officer, will run the fund. He will remain cfo through the end of 1999.
The deal will reduce the number of common shares outstanding and cut the company’s common dividend payments.
Times Mirror reported earnings from continuing operations rose 6% in 1999’s second quarter to $74.7 million. Shares closed at 611/4 Sept. 3, the day of the announcement, up 35/8.
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(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 4, 1999) [Caption]