Tribune cancels sale of two Conn. dailies

May 26, 2007|By MarketWatch

Chicago -- Tribune Co. canceled the $73 million sale of two of its southern Connecticut daily newspapers yesterday.

The Chicago media giant also announced that stockholders had tendered about 92 percent of its outstanding shares in a buyback plan to sell the company to billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell for $34 a share, or $8.2 billion.

Tribune, which owns The Sun, announced a tender offer in April to repurchase up to 126 million shares of its common stock, representing over 50 percent of its outstanding shares.

However, the Chicago company said yesterday that Tribune shareholders tendered far more shares than that - about 224 million shares - by the time the offer expired Thursday.

Because more than 126 million shares have been tendered, Tribune says it will buy back the shares on a pro-rata basis.

The company will begin payments for the shares, in cash, no later than June 5.

Tribune said it agreed to cancel the sale of its Connecticut papers to Gannett Co. after an arbitrator ruled that Gannett would have to abide by terms of a labor contract covering some workers at The Advocate, in Stamford.

Tribune agreed to sell The Advocate and Greenwich Time to Gannett in March.

Tribune shares declined $1.06, or 3.2 percent, to $32.14 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bloomberg News contributed to this article.

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