Lackluster bidding for the Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, has sparked a debate among family members of the newspaper's former owner about whether to launch their own bid for the company, the paper reported Tuesday.


The report cites an anonymous Chandler family member as saying there is a faction with the family that believes they should take the opportunity to regain ownership of the Times, since appears likely Tribune assets will be broken up anyway by any likely buyer.
None of the nonbinding bids received to date has been much above where the stock has trading of late, according to people familiar with the proposals.


But, the source added that the board of the two Chandler trusts, which owns about 20 percent of the Tribune Co. and has three of 11 seats on the company's board, is split about whether to support selling the company in a piecemeal fashion, selling entire company or making its own bid for the Times alone.


Since the Chicago-based media company was put on the market several weeks ago, six offers have been received, including four from private equity companies and a combined bid from Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle. and a bid this week from Gannett Co., the nation's largest newspaper company. Los Angeles billionaire and music mogul David Geffen has also expressed interest in acquiring the Times but has not made a bid.


The Times said the Chandler family member came forward partly in response to a weekend column in the Times by Harry B. Chandler, son of late Times publisher Otis Chandler, that claimed most of the 170 trust beneficiaries in the extended family had no interest in the future of the Times.

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