Hockey Exec, Mesirow Colleagues Among Tyree's Co-Buyers of 'Chicago Sun-Times' Parent

By: Mark Fitzgerald The owner of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, the CEO of a ""clean technologies"" venture capital firm and several Mesirow Financial colleagues were disclosed Friday as among the co-investors in Chicago financier Jim Tyree's purchase of Sun-Times Media Group.

Tyree had declined to name his fellow investors while negotiating to buy the bankrupt parent of the Chicago Sun-Times and 58 other dailies and weeklies in the Chicago metropolitan area.

""All members of the Sun-Times Media Holdings investor group ... are local investors with ties to Chicago and a strong interest in seeing this institution prosper,"" said Tyree, Mesirow's chairman and CEO. The Holdings group is paying $5 million cash and assuming about $22 million in liabilities for the chain.

In addition to naming his fellow buyers, Tyree said the current Sun-Times Media Group management will stay in place once he takes over, including Jeremy L. Halbreich, who has run the company in the past year. Halbreich will take the titles of CEO and vice chairman.

The current president and COO, Rick Surkamer, will remain in his position as will Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jim McDonough and Senior Vice President/Advertising and Marketing Barbara Swanson.

The most recognizable name in Tyree's investor group is probably W. Rockwell ""Rocky"" Wirtz, listed as president of Wirtz Corporation, which operates a liquor distributor, but better known as the owner who at last put Blackhawks home games on Chicago TV and has quickly rebuilt a sagging franchise.

The other investors in Sun-Times Media Holdings, as listed in the announcement:

?Andrew Agostini, Principal and Owner, J.L. Woode Ltd.
?Kevin Flynn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emerald Ventures, Inc.
?Ed Heil, Investor and Entrepreneur
?Michael Mackey, Senior Managing Director, Insurance Services, Mesirow Financial
?William Parrillo and Robert Parrillo, Private Investors
?Richard Price, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mesirow Financial
?Ed Ross, Principal and Owner, J.L. Woode Ltd.
?Bruce Young, Vice Chairman, Mesirow Financial


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