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VOL. 40 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 20, 2016

Tribune rejects second Gannett bid; sets the stage for talks

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NEW YORK (AP) — Tribune Publishing rejected a second takeover bid from USA Today owner Gannett, but did say Monday that it was open to further talks.

Gannett last week raised its per-share bid for the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers to $15, from $12.25. Gannett, based in McLean, Virginia, put the total value of the revised offer at about $864 million, which includes some $385 million in debt.

Tribune also revealed a $70.5 million investment from Nant Capital. Nant's acquisition of 4.7 million shares makes it Tribune's second-biggest institutional shareholder with a 12.9 percent stake.

Nant's founder, Patrick Soon-Shiong, will become vice chairman of the board.

The rejection Monday from the Tribune arrived three days after Gannett sent an excoriating letter to Tribune shareholders questioning the motives of the company board and Michael W. Ferro Jr., the publisher's non-executive chairman

In that letter, Gannett Co. urged Tribune shareholders to reject the company's slate of board nominees and criticized the publisher's decision to adopt a "poison pill" to avert a buyout.

On Monday, Chicago's Tribune Publishing Co. invited Gannett to create non-disclosure agreement so that the companies could talk about whether a deal could be reached.

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