Gannett Co. has increased its offer to acquire Tribune Publishing, the corporate parent of the Los Angeles Times.
The revised offer of $15 a share, announced today, represents a premium of 99 percent to Tribune’s closing price of $7.52 a share on April 22.
In the wake of the increased offer, Tribune’s stock rose nearly 23 percent Monday to close at $14.08 a share.
Chicago-based Tribune rejected the initial, unsolicited offer of $12.25 a share in a unanimous board vote on May 4. Gannett, owner of USA Today and dailies in more than 120 markets internationally, revised its bid following additional analysis of Tribune’s latest financial statements filed earlier this month.
“We encourage Tribune’s shareholders to send a clear message to their board to engage immediately with Gannett regarding our revised all-cash, premium offer,” said John Jeffry Louis, chairman of the Gannett board of directors, in a statement.
Robert J. Dickey, president and chief executive officer of Gannett added that the USA Today Network “would seamlessly extend to Tribune and benefit all Tribune and Gannett stakeholders as we continue our focus on producing high-quality, local and national content.”
While Tribune instituted a “poison pill” approach last week – which prevents Gannett from going directly to Tribune shareholders with further offers – its second-largest shareholder, LA-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, recommends exploring a potential deal.
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