Tribune Publishing Rejects McClatchy Takeover Offer

(Bloomberg) -- Tribune Publishing Co.’s talks over a potential takeover by McClatchy Co. have ended without a deal for the regional newspaper owner, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tribune Publishing rejected a fully financed cash-and-stock offer from McClatchy valuing the company at $16.50 a share, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Tribune Publishing is talking to other potential buyers, one of the people said.

Representatives for McClatchy and Tribune Publishing declined to comment.

Chicago-based Tribune’s shares rose as much as 5.3 percent Thursday. The shares then fell, closing down 1.5 percent to $13.58 in New York trading. The stock has dropped 23 percent this year, valuing the company at $484 million.

McClatchy’s offer included $15 a share in cash and the rest in stock, according to the people. Shares of the Sacramento, California-based company rose 6.5 percent to $8 on Thursday.

McClatchy, along with Donerail Group and AIM Media, submitted bids for Tribune Publishing in November, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Tribune Publishing, which changed its name back from Tronc Inc. in October, owns publications including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant.

Donerail and AIM have discussed teaming up for the assets, with AIM focused on Chicago Tribune, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information was private.

Tribune Publishing completed the $500 million sale of the Los Angeles Times to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong in June.

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