L.A. biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

L.A. biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

L.A. biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has upped his stake in Los Angeles Times parent tronc Inc. to 24 percent, nearly overtaking tronc's largest shareholder, Michael Ferro, in a move that may further stoke rumors he could be positioning himself to make a run at the company.

Soon-Shiong, tronc’s second-largest shareholder, has agreed to purchase 2 million shares at $15 each from HG Vora Capital Management, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. The deal would bring his stake to 8.98 million shares. Ferro controls 9.05 million, 24.83 percent, according to the most recent data from Bloomberg.

The move comes days after tronc announced in an SEC filing that Soon-Shoing would lose his board seat and vice chairman position as it reduced its board to seven seats from nine.

Board members are scheduled to be elected at tronc’s annual shareholders meeting April 18.

Soon-Shiong couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

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Reporter Diane Haithman can be reached at dhaithman@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman for the latest in L.A. business news.