Tribune Co. Reportedly Open To Management Deal

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By: E&P Staff

Having concluded the offers from its auction are non-starters, Tribune Co. is opening the door to a management-led deal, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

In an article by Michael Oneal with contributions from Becky Yerak, the Tribune reported that its parent corporation’s top management, led by Chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons, is talking with private-equity groups about making their own offer for the company.

Management could present their ideas to a special committee of Tribune directors as early as Saturday, the paper said.

Among the firms the management team is conferring with is Madison Dearborn, the Chicago-based firm that declined to make a bid during the auction, which closed earlier this month.

“Whether a deal will come together is impossible to know at this point, the source cautioned,” the Tribune reported. “And sources with knowledge of Madison Dearborn’s thinking said the firm is still not convinced a deal can work.”

Quoting “people with knowledge of management’s thinking,” the paper reported that the deal would likely involve spinning off its remaining television stations, and possibly the Chicago Cubs baseball team, while taking the newspapers private.

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