(Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund Alden Global Capital is planning to buy newspaper chain Tribune Publishing Co, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Alden Global, which is already Tribune’s largest shareholder with a 32% stake, could disclose an offer for the remaining stake in the company as soon as Thursday, the WSJ report said.
The hedge fund grabbed a third seat on the Chicago Tribune publisher’s board in July in exchange for an agreement to extend a standstill deal preventing Alden from increasing its stake or making a hostile bid for Tribune until after June 2021, the WSJ report said.
Chicago-based Tribune, valued at about $467 million, also owns New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun.
Tribune did not respond to Reuters request for comment late Wednesday night, while Alden Global could not be reached immediately.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the publishing industry hard, with a study published last month finding that print newspapers saw a decline in their overall consumer reach amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Commercial news media are the hardest hit by the crisis, especially those that are advertising-based, as well as newspapers and local media, according to the findings of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, a research center at the University of Oxford that tracks media trends.
Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu and Arghyadeep Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Vinay Dwivedi