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Home » Wyoming Billionaire Enters Bid to Purchase Tribune and Baltimore Sun

Wyoming Billionaire Enters Bid to Purchase Tribune and Baltimore Sun

by | Mar 28, 2021

A Wyoming billionaire has entered the bidding for Tribune Publishing, the major newspaper chain that until recently seemed destined to end up in the hands of a New York hedge fund, according to a report in The New York Times.

Hansjörg Wyss, the former chief executive of the medical device manufacturer Synthes, said in an interview with The New York Times that he had agreed to join with the Maryland hotelier Stewart W. Bainum Jr. in a bid for Tribune Publishing, an offer that could upend Alden Global Capital’s plan to take full ownership of the company.

According to the Times, Mr. Wyss, who has given away some of his fortune to help preserve wildlife habitats in Wyoming, Montana and Maine, said he was motivated to join the Tribune bid by his belief in the need for a robust press. “I have an opportunity to do 500 times more than what I’m doing now,” he told the newspaper.

Tribune Publishing’s board recommended that shareholders approve a purchase offer from the hedge fund Alden Global Capital over a higher bid from Bainum, according to a securities filing.

The Times reported that the filing comes a week after Bainum made an $18.50 per share offer for the whole company. Mr. Bainum initially had agreed with Alden to spin off three of Tribune’s titles — The Baltimore Sun and two smaller Maryland papers — at the price of $65 million. But negotiations between Alden and Mr. Bainum stalled over details of operating agreements that would be in effect as the Maryland papers transitioned from one owner to another, prompting Mr. Bainim to pursue a bid to buy all of Tribune.

Alden, Tribune’s largest shareholder with a 32 percent stake, agreed last month to buy the rest of the company at $17.25 per share and take it private in a deal that would value the company at $630 million. Alden would buy of all the company’s remaining papers, which include The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News.

About the Author

Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR has more than 25 years of news media and national public relations experience and heads J. Davis Public Relations, LLC, a PR and social media consultancy. A three-time PRSA Maryland president, he serves as Maryland regional editor for the Capitol Communicator and is co-founder of Podville Media in D.C. where he co-hosted the "Practically Social" podcast. Jeff is the regional representative of the national Public Relations Consultants Group (PRCG). He began his career as a reporter at daily newspapers in Ohio, New Jersey and at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.

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