Gannett Faces Proxy Fight With MNG After Spurning Takeover Bid

(Bloomberg) -- Gannett Co. is facing a proxy battle with MNG Enterprises Inc. after rejecting a $1.36 billion bid from the company and describing the takeover proposal as not credible.

MNG, backed by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, will nominate six candidates to the board of Gannett, which said Thursday it has received notice of the plan. MNG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The Gannett board of directors will evaluate MNG’s notice and proposed nominees, all of whom are affiliated with MNG or its majority shareholder Alden Global Capital,” the newspaper publisher said in a statement. “The board will consider whether MNG is nominating these candidates to support its acquisition proposal, which the board has already rejected, and whether MNG’s proposed nominees are committed to acting in the best interests of all of Gannett’s shareholders, or are beholden to MNG.”

MNG offered $12 a share last month for Gannett, whose newspapers include USA Today. The proposed deal, which would make MNG the largest owner of U.S. daily papers, was slammed by Gannett, which is based in McLean, Virginia. It said the suitor never sought to engage with management before initial reports of its approach came out and has provided no proof of financing for the transaction since.

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