No Second Bidder Appears for 'Chicago Sun-Times' Parent

By: Mark Fitzgerald No second bidder showed up with an offer to buy the bankrupt parent of the Chicago Sun-Times as a 5 p.m. deadline expired Monday -- and another loomed as the newsroom union remained deadlocked with the sole bidder.

In a memo to employees Sun-Times Media Group Chairman and interim CEO said that on Thursday the company will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court overseeing its Chapter 11 case to approve the bid of an investor group put together by Chicago financier Jim Tyree, who has offered $5 million in cash and the assumption of about $22 million in liabilities for the troubled publisher of 58 Chicago-area dailies and weeklies.

The eclipsed deadline Monday evening was then immediately replaced by another Thursday, because Tyree's offer comes with a big condition: All unions representing Sun-Times Media workers must agree to contract concessions, which include making permanent a 15% temporary pay cut plus, for many shops, dramatic changes in work and seniority rules.

Tyree has repeatedly emphasized that he has no intention of closing on the company without the labor concessions. Halbreich in the past has warned that if the contract changes are not approved, the chain could be forced into Chapter 7 liquidation -- and close its doors.

"I also continue to be confident that all of the conditions to the completion of that transaction, including the approval of all of the required union contract amendments, will be in hand before we appear before the court," Halbreich wrote in the memo.

So far, seven trade unions have agreed to the concessions, bringing the total number of unions to back the contract changes to seven. Five units of the Guild have rejected concessions, while four unions have yet to vote.


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