The Chandler family offered to buy the Tribune Co. Wednesday and spin off the Chicago-based company's broadcast assets in a bid that values the company at about $7.6 billion.
Under the deal, shareholders in Tribune would get a portion of the shares in the new television company and $19.30 in cash, valuing the stock at $31.70, the Chandler family's trust said in a letter to the company's advisers. The Chandlers would also regain control of the Los Angeles Times, the paper the family started more than 100 years ago and sold to the Tribune Co. in 2000 for $8.3 billion.
The offer is a 4.5 percent premium on the Tribune's closing price Wednesday of $30.34 but is less than the $31.86 average closing price during December, an indication of the waning interest in the company since it put itself up for sale last fall.
The Chandlers' offer is competing with another made by Los Angeles billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad, who valued the company at about $10 billion, or $34 a share, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Shares in the Tribune Co. have dipped more than 4.6 percent in the past year.
Some observers see the Chandler family's offer as an attempt to salvage the value of the family's 20 percent stake in the company. The deal could give the family as much as a 51 percent interest in the Tribune's newspapers, while private equity partners would hold the rest.
Tribune also received at least one proposal from a private-equity firm interested in the company's TV stations, the Journal said. No details were available on that bid but experts called the deal "feeble."
Shares in Tribune were up 53 cents to $30.87 in midday trading Thursday.
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